One thing we have learnt this week – Germany gets free wind power

wind turbine in France from below bladesGermany got free wind power last weekend as windpower broke new European records.  Last weekend windpower generated over 60% of German electricity demand.  So much electricity was generated from the wind that the wholesale price of electricity turned negative.  This has happened before of course but usually happens in summer mainly due to Germany’s vast PV capacity.  This time prices were negative for a whole day rather than just hours.

Other records are continuing to be broken.  The same day almost 25% of all electricity in the EU came from the wind.  Most of this came from onshore turbines with only about 2.8% coming from off shore sources.  However the problem of free wind power looks set to grow with the really big growth in offshore wind.  This problem of free wind power or or free solar power is a real problem being very disruptive to the economics of the grid.  However the solutions do seem to be at hand with battery storage technology prices falling fast.  There are a number of grid scale battery systems under construction in the UK and other countries.   Last Saturdays wind power records may have been due to wave of polar air travelling south over Europe but it looks like many more records are set to broken.

Neil

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