Germany produced so much renewable energy on Sunday that residents earned money from a power grid surplus
Last weekend Germany produced so much renewable energy that prices for power went into negative figures in business terms.
For a few hours on Sunday, the European nation went full ‘green’. Its power grid had surplus, and for a few hours residents actually earned money from using electricity, rather than paying for it. Quite remarkable.
It was the weather that caused the staggering dip in value and rise in electricity. Germany saw a burst of sunshine that was sustained over a substantial period and, at the same time, winds were high. It meant the country’s wind, solar, hydro and biomass power plants supplied the country with 87% of its energy.
Usually, renewables top up the main supply. But not to the extent of 87%. For a time, gas plants were actually shut down due to the green surge, but nuclear and coal plants couldn’t suspend activity fast enough. It meant the grid was overrun with power. Consumers earned money by keeping the lights on as a result.
For the environment, it’s pretty good news. We can’t imagine the promises made at the 2015 Paris Climate Summit will be kept by everyone, but Germany looks on track. Although, obviously, there needs to be a way of maintaining profit for energy consumption – at least if a capitalist society remains the idea.
Germany pledged to see its electricity supply come from 100% renewable energy by 2050. It also said it would drop emissions by 40% from what they were in 1990 by 2020.