NewsFlash: Germany Again. 59 percent Renewable. Sky Not Falling.
November 2, 2013
Wind and solar power peaked at 59.1 percent of German power generation earlier this month. It happened at noon on a very windy and sunny October 3, which is the German holiday commemorating reunification. (Germany also hit peaks of 61 percent, a record, and 59 percent earlier this year.)
Solar and wind provided 36.4 percent of total electricity generation over the entire day, with PV accounting for 11.2 percent.
The electrical grid appears intact but electricity prices took a tumble. According to an analysis by Bernard Chabot of BCCONSULT, low demand from large conventional power plants drove the electricity price index covering Germany, Austria, France and Switzerland to 2.75 cents per kilowatt-hour at 2:00 p.m.
Some additional stats from Chabot’s report about Germany’s power mix on October 3:
- Solar and wind furnished a total of more than 436 gigawatt-hours.
- At peak, solar furnished 20.5 gigawatts, with wind peaking at 16.6 gigawatts.
- Conventional power plants had to ramp down to 23 gigawatts at about noon.
We recently reported on an NREL study specific to one U.S. regional grid (the Western Interconnection), which found the costs of backing up and integrating wind and solar are far smaller than the benefits accrued from the use of renewables. We’ve reported on the ways in which the traditional utility model is under threat from renewables. And we’ve heard from grid experts who see the European grid as strained and soon to be challenged by the onslaught of renewables.