One thing we have learnt this week- negative power prices

negative power prices.jpgThis week we have had negative power prices for the second? time in the UK.  This has been long predicted since the same thing happens in Germany due to vast solar penetration.  Now the UK is catching up.  Negative power prices mean the generators are paying someone to take the electricity, not being paid for it.   At least some commentators think this is unlikely to be a major problem.   However given high solar power installation (higher than thought) and with still expanding offshore wind capacity then this could be a bigger problem than has been believed until know.  At least in summer.

The solutions are increased energy storage and inter-connectors.  The use of inter-connectors assumes of course that wind and solar production is not as high at the other end.    There is another solution in which inverters can be “clipped” limiting their output when grid voltages reach certain levels.  However, this is unlikely to go down too well with small generators it would also require a major effort to go round and reprogramme the inverters.  (I don’t know whether its possible to do this by tweaking smart meters and avoiding the inverters)?  Simply storing the electricity using batteries until after dark seems the best solution but is going to require some form of economics not really present at the moment to make it worthwhile.

 

Neil

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