News Digest Item
02 Jan 2017

35 hours of negative wholesale power prices over the holidays

Welt Online

High wind power production during a storm led to a total of 35 hours of negative wholesale power prices over the holidays in Germany, writes Daniel Wetzel for Welt Online. “Because of the holidays, industry did not need the power,” and grid operators at times paid consumers to use electricity, writes Wetzel. “Owners of pump storage facilities in the alps, for example, used the free energy to fill their reservoirs” and could later sell the power back to Germany for a high price at times of low renewable production, writes Wetzel.
Negative power exchange prices occur when high and inflexible power generation coincides with low electricity demand. Heavy winds, for example, lead to a glut of renewable power. Under Germany's renewables law, grid operators must take all renewable power produced. If conventional power plants keep running, this can lead to a situation where grid operators sell excess power at low prices on the market - even paying consumers to buy it. This is often the case on public holidays. 

Read the article in German here.

For background read the CLEW factsheet Why power prices turn negative.

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