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Power prices go negative in Germany due to an excess of renewable energy sources

Energy storage solutions are requires to prevent an oversupply of electricity

Power prices go negative in Germany due to an excess of renewable energy sources

Power prices go negative in Germany due to an excess of renewable energy sources

Germany has invested an estimated 200 billion Euros over the past two decades to promote the production of cleaner electricity, with over a third of the country's energy production coming from renewable sources in 2016. While this may sound like a good thing, it does introduce problems for the electricity market, issues that have to be resolved to make energy grids based on renewable energy sources more viable.  

This Sunday, energy prices became negative in Germany, with unseasonably warm weather and an abundance of wind power causing an oversupply of electricity. Having too much electrical power is not a good thing, as it disrupts the balance of the power grid and can even cause appliances to break or damage the network to cause power outages. The electricity that is delivered to the grid needs to go somewhere, which means that in an oversupply situation users can be paid to utilise the grid's excess energy. 

Energy prices go negative to encourage consumers to consume more electricity and force energy suppliers to invest in more flexible infrastructure. Nuclear and coal power plants cannot be simply turned off, with both requiring lengthy and costly startup times and run down times, making it easier and cheaper to provide electricity at a loss. The potential for negative electricity prices makes the investment in energy storage systems more economical for suppliers, allowing Germany's power grid to more naturally adapt to the changing market. 

In Germany prices have gone negative over 100 times in 2017, showcasing the need for power storage solutions within a nation's power grid when using renewable energy sources. There are several solutions to this problem, be it the use of energy storage solutions like a large battery bank or a pumped hydro station, where water is pumped into an uphill reservoir when electricity is oversupplied to later run downhill through generators to offer cheap power when required. Another alternative is to create a system where consumers are notified when electricity is cheap and plentiful to encourage citizens to use their washing machines and other appliances to alleviate the issue.   

  

Power prices go negative in Germany due to an excess of renewable energy sources  

As the world moves away from fossil fuels, energy storage will become increasingly important when managing a nation's power grid, forcing suppliers to invest in new technologies to prepare the world for a future where renewables can be a dominant energy source. 

One thing to note here is that Germany's electricity prices have only increased in recent history, with electric bills coming with a lot of taxes and fees to fund the development of the country's power grid and finance renewable energy incentives. Negative power pricing does lower the average German power bill; it doesn't pay customers for using electricity directly. 

You can join the discussion on Germany's energy prices becoming negative on the OC3D Forums.  

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Most Recent Comments

28-12-2017, 13:48:14

ImprovizoR
Solution - a Vega GPU for every German.Quote

28-12-2017, 14:29:25

notcool
Fossil fuels are still very much in demand in India and China and tbh there's more than enough coal to last for decades and decades.

All this was done just to ship heavy industry and manufacturing to third world nations. Thankfully Trump is going back to coal I just hope we in Britain do the same or go for something like fracking to lower our bills and provide jobs to former industrial areas.Quote

28-12-2017, 15:09:01

looz
Coal isn't the answer for developed nations, nuclear and renewables are.Quote

28-12-2017, 15:16:35

ImprovizoR
Quote:
Originally Posted by notcool View Post
Thankfully Trump is going back to coal
No he isn't. There's a pretty big difference between saying stuff and actually doing it. Especially when it comes to politicians.

Quote:
Originally Posted by notcool View Post
I just hope we in Britain do the same or go for something like fracking to lower our bills and provide jobs to former industrial areas.
Why? Renewable energy is a better alternative for the environment and it's getting cheaper all the time. And in the US, solar industry alone employs more people than the entire fossil fuel industry.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7541971.htmlQuote

28-12-2017, 15:22:18

MacLeod
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImprovizoR View Post
Why? Renewable energy is a better alternative for the environment and it's getting cheaper all the time. And in the US, solar industry alone employs more people than the entire fossil fuel industry.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7541971.html
Because it's not as reliable. I don't doubt solar and other renewable energy sources are the future but for right now they're not at a level we can depend on them 24/7. It will happen tho. Technology will figure it out like it always does.Quote
Reply
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