Germany sets new solar record, prices turn negative in middle of day

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Germany sets a new record for solar output, producing more than 25,000MW for first time, helping to push energy prices into negative territory.

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Germany has set a new record for solar output this week, with output breaking above 25,000MW for the first time on Wednesday.

According to the web-site Montero, Germany’s solar power units produced 25,029MW of power between 13:00 and 13:15 CET on Wednesday. The previous output record was reached on June 9 last year at 24,244 MW.

This graph below shows data captured by Agora Energiewende. (The times are Australian, which is where we are based, so subtract 8 hours to get to 1pm. This data does not break down 15 minute intervals).

germany solar record

The solar generation actually beat grid forecasts of 24,243MW for the period. Wind also peaked at close to 24,000MW an hour later. From before 11pm to after 3pm, solar and wind and biomass combined to provide more than half of the country’s energy demand.

This helped send wholesale electricity tariffs into negative territory,  with intraday prices falling to minus 14.91/MWh for several 15-minute-blocks during midday peak periods.

Wind also peaked at close to 24,000MW an hour later. From before 11pm to after 3pm, solar and wind and biomass combined to provide more than half of the country’s energy demand.

The new solar record in Germany comes just a week after France set a new record for solar output, when it produced a maximum 4,049MW, and on the following Sunday accounted for nearly 10 per cent of demand.

Mark Lewis, from Kepler Chevreux, who brought attention to the new record, noted: “The disruptive impact of renewable energy has already had a big impact on the utility sector in the EU, and will in our view pose an increasing challenge to incumbent utilities in other parts of the world over the next five years.”

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12 Comments
  1. nakedChimp 4 years ago

    cool 🙂

  2. Albert Sjoberg. 4 years ago

    And the local incumbent utilities are determined to prevent it from becoming a challenge any time soon.

    • patb2009 4 years ago

      Doesn’t matter. They can’t stop it…

      Consider 2 Scenarios: A) People invest heavily into efficiency, they put LED bulbs in, they replace old appliances with new efficient ones, they invest into smart automation. Consumer demand drops 30%. B) People invest reasonably into small Solar, just a 1KW array on the roof of their houses. Consumer demand for power drops 20%..

      What happens to utilities in either scenario? How do they manage that?

      How do they prevent people from putting in behind the meter solar?

      • Richard Werkhoven 4 years ago

        Yes.

        The real game changer is storage. With not much storage the solar power can cover the peak period and reducing peak load. (according to Ausgrid)

        Covering the peak period reduces the need for poles & wires upgrades. It reduces the need for the utilities to buy expensive generation from peaking plants also.

        It’s now possible with retail products to get enough Solar PV and combine it with enough storage to cover the whole day/night power use.

        They can either adapt or become totally uneconomic. The current business model in Australia is to spend as much as possible and IPART will approve a price increase to guarantee an 8% profit. So more spending means more profit.

        The effect of removing the monopoly by allowing customers to generate their own power and maybe keep a grid connection for the odd times they have not enough storage for is that the demand will drop considerably, way beyond 20%.

        If the fixed costs don’t drop the unit price will have to rise, thereby pricing the grid out of the market and driving more users to storage,

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  3. Strom-Report 4 years ago

    There are about 1,5 million photovoltaic systems with a total capacity of 38 gigawatt (GW) installed in Germany. In 2014 Photovoltaics produced approximately 6.9 percent of Germany’s net electricity consumption. More facts at a glance: http://strom-report.de/pv-facts/#pv-facts

    • patb2009 4 years ago

      that means that during really bright days Germany can for a few hours go 100% renewable.

      • Strom-Report 4 years ago

        on sunny and windy days all renewables (plus biomass & water) together can handle that.

      • Richard Werkhoven 4 years ago

        So far

        And in the future…

  4. Tim Buckley 4 years ago

    The more the utilities try to overcharge and stymie their customers in the short term, the more vindictive the customers will ultimately be. Technology change is coming; better to embrace and prepare for it rather than using regulatory controls to put futile barriers up. Using oligopoly powers to preventing electricity and gas customers from saving money will back fire on AGL, Origin, EnergyAustralia, Santos and the grid operators. Shareholders in these companies have been rewarded to-date with a sustained period of share price underperformance by these companies. Enough said!

  5. onesecond 4 years ago

    And that is because Germany is such a sunny country! 😀

    • Coley 4 years ago

      Aye, if it can be achieved in Northern Europe with our manky weather, it makes you shake your head in wonderment at the reluctance/refusal of countries with guaranteed sunshine to fully embrace RE.

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