German energy provider, Eon was the first to announce the new record on May 1. All PV power generators installed in Germany produced more than 10 billion kWh of electricity, for the first time, in the first four months of the year.
“In April alone, it was 4.8 billion kilowatt hours – almost the same amount as in the previous three months. By way of comparison, in April 2017 3.9 billion kWh were generated, while April 2016 solar power production had reached 3.7 billion kWh,” a EON spokesman told pv magazine.
According to him, the data come from Eon analysts who monitor the renewable energy market around the clock, based on weather forecasts, expected energy volumes in the electricity market, and the quantities of injected electricity. “The amount of electricity generated can cover the average annual consumption of more than four million households,” Eon said, referring to the solar source.
Bruno Burger, who manages the Energy Charts at Germany’s solar research institute, Fraunhofer ISE, also continuously evaluates the power generation data. He has calculated PV generation of 10.76 billion kWh for the first four months of 2018. However, EON claims it currently comes in at 10.18 billion kilowatt hours of solar power for the period.
Burger points out that his calculations take into account correction factors, without which the value is likely to be below the limit of 10 billion kWh. “Since the EEG account for 2017 is not yet available, this value is still uncertain. Probably the value of 2017 was already over ten terawatt hours ,” Burger said.
End of April: Record week for renewables
According to Burger’s analyses, calendar week 17 – the last week of April – was the best for renewable energy so far this year. The share of renewables reached 53.2%, which was slightly above the stormy first week of the year, when 5.22 billion kWh were generated by the renewable energy systems installed in Germany.
For the full month of April, he has calculated 5.26 billion kWh coming from PV systems in the country. According to his analysis, this accounts for 12.1% of total power generation. Wind turbines reached 9.02 billion kWh, and a share of 20.7% last month. Burger further estimates that, lumped together, renewables reached a total share of 48.3%.
The Freiburg scientist has already determined preliminary data for May 1. Renewable energies would have accounted for almost 71.9% of all power generation, he said. On the holidays in spring or early summer, the share of PV and wind power is often very high, as the energy consumption is less than on working days during the week. Viewed throughout May 1, wind power accounted for 44.1% of electricity generation, and PV systems for 12.1%.
As a consequence of this high level of power injection from renewables, negative prices showed up again on the electricity exchange. On May 1, these prices were negative from 0:00 am to 6:00 pm, which means that operators of direct-marketing power plants require no compensation during this period.
The lowest level was reached by the Day Ahead Börsenstrompreis with -58.96 euros per MWh at 2 pm. At that time, the gas and coal power plants were reduced to less than 10% of their capacity. The brown coal power plants ran at 40% capacity, while nuclear power plants at 70%, Burger added.