Renewable energy cost got below zero in Germany

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11 May 2016

Germany broke a new record in energy generation from renewable sources. Thanks to sunny and windy weather of May 8, 2016, the total energy production of solar, wind, hydro and bio-energy reached about 55 GW. Germany consumed 63 GW of energy that day. Thus, renewable energy accounted for approximately 87%. Renewables rate went negative for few hours, which means payments for consumers.

Such situation is not something unique in recent times. Similar to energy spikes occur more often across Europe. If RE prices went into minus only few times between 2010 and 2014, well now, in the past year it has happened dozens of times. The problem is that energy market prices in Europe are generated by auction type -  producers and buyers offer their own prices. So, if too much energy is produced, then wholesale energy suppliers start to dump, with prices sometimes going negative, as it happens now.

Nevertheless green energy producers still benefit even with sub-zero prices because of subsidies for production of clean energy. Export energy lines may be too narrow and surplus energy needs to be used, therefore RE producers are happy to get rid of excess even with additional cost.


Translated: Anuar Satbayev
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