German renewables pushing wholesale electricity further into negative territory

The success story of German solar meant power prices dipped into negative territory in the last five days as the sun finally appeared.

Wednesday’s new German record of 27.7 GW of solar power output saw the grid flooded with so much renewable energy that power generators were paying consumers to use electricity for two hours, according to a report by Bloomberg Business yesterday (Thursday)

Between 1pm and 2pm on Wednesday, German electricity was retailing for –€1/MWh (–$1.08/MWh) and that figure fell to –€1.1/MWh (–$1.19/MWh) between 2pm and 3pm.

The solar power output record may have been beaten on Wednesday but it was on Sunday – with less demand for electricity on weekends – that the power of solar to slash energy prices was most evident.

Five days ago, the spot price of electricity was in negative territory for eight hours, falling as low as –€79.94/MWh (–86.53/MWh) at one point, according to Epex Spot SE Data, cited by Bloomberg Business.

And the good news for German consumers is that weather forecaster Meteo Group says summer has arrived, according to the Bloomberg Business article, with the organization’s Berlin-based Marcus Boljahn quoted as predicting the high pressure weather will continue and solar power output will rise daily until the longest day of the year, on June 21.

If that prediction comes to pass – given the perennially unreliable nature of weather forecasts – more German solar output records are likely to tumble and negative power prices, particularly at weekends, could become the new normal.