Germany’s power grids are swimming in renewable energy, so much so that power prices went negative. The country was generating so much renewable energy on Sunday that, for a few hours, residents actually earned money from using electricity.
Because of a sunny and windy day, at one point around 1pm the country’s solar, wind, hydro and biomass plants were supplying about 55 GW of the 63 GW being consumed.
And for some time prices actually went negative for several hours, meaning commercial customers were being paid to consume electricity.
“We have a greater share of renewable energy every year”
– Said Christoph Podewils
Unfortunately, renewable plants can’t power the whole country all the time. Companies which use a lot of electricity wouldn’t have been operating at their normal rate on Sunday, and the good weather resulted in the sudden surge. On a normal day, however, renewables produce under half of all the electricity consumed in Germany.
Germany plans to hit 100% renewable energy by 2050, and Denmark’s wind turbines already at some points generate more electricity than the country consumes, exporting the surplus to Germany, Norway and Sweden.