Influence of negative power prices on power plant operators often very limited
Many operators of nuclear, gas or coal-fired power plants in Germany do not throttle feed-in at times of “negative power prices,” the Federal Grid Agency (BNetzA) has said in a press release. Although operators of conventional plants have to pay for disposing of their power during these phases, “about a quarter” of plant capacity during peak feed-in times “did not react or only partially reacted to wholesale power prices,” BNetzA president Jochen Homann says. Only a small fraction of the provided power was necessary to cover the grid’s baseload or for re-dispatch measures, he adds. In its latest report on minimum power generation in Germany, the BNetzA cites the plants’ inflexibility and contractual commitments in the framework of the Combined Heat and Power Act as reasons for providing power at negative prices.
For background, see the CLEW factsheet Why power prices turn negative.