At the same time, other mainstays of the country’s electricity supply, especially some coal and nuclear power plants, are unable to dial back quickly enough, leading to negative prices on electricity trading markets.
Where do they go negative?Several countries in Europe have experienced negative power prices, including Belgium, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. In one recent example, power prices spent 31 hours below zero during the last weekend of October.
What can be done?Negative prices indicate that Germany’s power grid, like most others around the world, has not yet adapted to the increasing amounts of renewable energy being produced.
The wholesale costs of power make up only about a fifth of the average household electricity bill in Germany.
That means their bills are lower than they otherwise would be, because power prices are sometimes negative, though household energy bills have been rising over all anyway.
RWE, one of Germany’s largest operators of power installations, employs a weather forecaster to help anticipate surges in wind power, and to match the spikes to when the company expects peak demand.