Tracking the Energiewende

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The good wonks at Agora Energiewende, the think tank in Berlin devoted to the German energy transition, have introduced new tools to track the German energy system — in real time.

The new “Agorameter” tracks electricity production hourly by fuel source, wholesale prices, and imports and exports.  It is currently all in German, but easy enough to understand once you remember a few key words and colors.

For starters, Kraftwerk is not only an awesome band from the 1970s, it also means “power plant.”  Strom is electricity, and Strompreis is the price of electricity.  Stromerzeugung and stromverbrauch means power production and consumption.

For renewables:  Wind and solar are the same in English, biomasse is what I like to call biopower, andlaufwasser is hydropower.

The conventional fuels are gas, nuclear (kernenergie) and two types of coal, both aptly named:  lignite they callbraunkohle; sub-bituminous, or black coal, is called steinkohle, which I like to pronounce “stink-hole.”

Pumped storage hydro is pumpspeicher und speicherwasser.

The widget embedded here shows power production for the last couple of days, with conventional Kraftwerk in gray, wind in blue, solar in yellow, and biomass and hydro running flat on the bottom in green and blue.

Click on it to go to the Agora website for more detailed information on prices and exports.

Then watch this great documentary about Kraftwerk!