News Digest Item
14 May 2018

German scientists call for changes in energy policy due to negative power prices

Thüringer Allgemeine

Scientists of the Technical University of Dresden are calling for a “readjustment” of Germany’s energy policy as power prices are turning negative due to the expansion of renewable energy sources and persisting nuclear and fossil power generation capacity, Volkhard Paczulla writes in the Thüringer Allgemeine. On 1 May, renewable energy sources supplied about 100 percent of Germany’s 63 gigawatt (GW) power demand, while nuclear and fossil plants produced an additional 15 GW “that nobody needed,” Paczulla writes. According to the researchers from Dresden, getting rid of this excess energy cost German consumers about 12 million euros, as prices at the power exchange turned negative for 18 hours. Since operators of renewable power plants get a guaranteed feed-in remuneration, additional costs accrued on that day, which is why energy policy changes are needed, the researchers say. According to the think tank Agora Energiewende*, prices on Germany’s power market turn negative for about 130 hours per year, and no excess power is produced on the vast majority of days, Paczulla adds.

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW factsheet The causes and effects of negative power prices for background.

*Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.

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