German wholesale power prices turn negative less often in 2018
Germany has had 134 hours of negative power prices on the wholesale market in 2018, Klaus Stratmann reports in Handelsblatt, citing figures obtained from the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur). The number was down from 146 hours in 2017 (2016: 97 hours; 2015: 126 hours). Over Christmas and New Year, when electricity consumption is low due to nation-wide holidays, and when high winds and non-flexible conventional electricity sources can provide for excess power production, electricity prices in Germany have frequently turned negative. In these events renewable and conventional power generation and grid capacity weren’t always working together smoothly, Stratmann writes. But, according to a Bundesnetzagentur spokesperson, negative power prices were part of the usual market activity and were providing a “valuable signal for the market”, which leads important incentives for flexibility. Over Christmas 2018, warm weather and little wind helped to keep power prices widely in the plus.