Use of cheap oil for power production in Germany possible, but unlikely – report
The oil price collapse could in theory lead to the use of the fossil fuel in German power stations, but experts still consider this scenario unlikely at the moment, reports Daniel Wetzel in Die Welt. The Brent crude price would have to drop to 11 dollars per barrel from around 20 dollars today to make German oil-fired power stations profitable, according to Felix Matthes, research coordinator at the Institute for Applied Ecology. Frank Peter from energy think tank Agora Energiewende* also told the author he didn't expect that using oil to make electricity could become permanently profitable.
Germany has a limited number of so-called bivalent power stations that can switch to burning light heating oil. Swedish utility Vattenfall, which operates one of these plants in Berlin, said the plant will stick to burning gas to keep emissions down, regardless of the oil price. In the US, the oil price fell below zero for the first time at the start of the week due to oversupply and a sharp drop in demand during the coronavirus pandemic.
*Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.