Firstly, wind energy protest organization vernunftkraft.de posted a chart showing the sheer absurdity of relying on the haphazard electricity supply that wind and solar energies are.
Last Sunday Germany saw windy and sunny conditions, meaning the country’s installed wind and solar systems were running at high capacity. This however led to excess power flooding into the German grid, and thus a plummet in exchange electricity prices.
Market exchange price of electricity on the EEX Leipzig exchange. On April 30 and May 1st 2017, wholesale prices went deeply negative. Source: EEX Marktdaten Strom, by Rolf Schuster.
The chart above shows that electricity was in fact sold at negative prices, dipping to an astonishing low of almost 75 euros per megawatt hour.
Unfortunately the money to pay people to “buy” the electricity never gets paid to the consumer. Rather it gets paid mostly to foreign wholesalers. Yet, the German grid operator needs to recoup the money it paid to have the wholesalers to accept the power. In the end, the domestic consumers in Germany wind up with the bill.
How much did the negative prices seen over the past weekend end up costing the German consumers? One reader calculated it and came up with the figure of over 41 million euros! And because May 1st was a national holiday, the demand for German power was low, and there was no use for all the extra power flooding into the grid. It’s like cooking dinner ‚Äì after everyone has already eaten. And because there is no fridge, the garbage man has to be called and paid to dispose of it. So far electricity cannot be stored on a meaningful scale.