Germany’s electricity export prices higher than import, reports Fraunhofer ISE

Federal data analysis by Germany’s Fraunhofer ISE has revealed that export prices for surplus electricity the country has produced are higher than the price Germany pays for imported energy – disproving the claim by critics of the Energiewende that Germany has been ‘dumping’ surplus power on to its neighbors.

According to Fraunhofer’s analysis, exported electricity yielded additional revenue of €1.7 billion in 2014 ($1.93 billion), and is on course to swell the country’s coffers by between €1.5 billion and €2 billion ($1.7-$2.2 billion) this year.

The data confirms that there is no basis to the argument that Germany is selling surplus energy at dumping prices, said Fraunhofer professor, Bruno Burger. "Over the past years, Germany was able to secure higher prices for its electricity exports than it paid for electricity imports," he said.

This year, Germany is on course to generate a record export surplus of 40 TWh of electricity, aided by the country’s renewables industry as nuclear outputs has fallen by 41 TWh between 2010 and 2014. Over that same period, solar, wind and biomass have added 118 TWh of energy production capacity.

This transition, the Energiewende, is serving to alter the landscape of Germany’s energy mix, but some critics had rounded on the strategy, accusing Germany of selling off its surplus power cheaply to its neighbors.

"Major efforts in renewable energy expansion are still drastically needed in order to replace the remaining nuclear power plants and to reduce the electricity production from coal-fired plants, which are especially damaging to the climate," Burger said. Solar installations have fallen off sharply in the past 18 months, which reaffirms Burger’s belief that more still needs to be done to ensure that the Energiewende maintains its current trajectory.