Germany Solar Sets New Record, While French Nuclear Gasps in Heat

July 19, 2022


Germany produced a record amount of electricity from solar on Sunday and is set to exceed that again on Tuesday as a heat wave grips Europe.

About 38,174 megawatts were generated from solar panels on Sunday and high levels are expected through Wednesday. A fresh record is possible on Tuesday, with a maximum 38,287 megawatts forecast.

A brutal heat wave is moving into western Europe, baking many areas. Temperatures are set to peak on Tuesday and Wednesday in Germany as the heat begins to ease elsewhere, according to state forecaster DWD. The extreme temperatures are sparking wildfires in Spain, France and Greece. 

“Historic heat is forecast to take hold of parts of western Europe this week, where all-time record high temperatures could be recorded,” Maxar Technologies LLC said in a report.

The UK may see the highest temperatures ever recorded, with forecasts at London’s Heathrow of 38.5 degrees Celsius (101.3 Fahrenheit) on Monday and 40 degrees on Tuesday. It will hit 42 Celsius in Nantes, France on Monday, also a new record. Paris will have a high of 39 Celsius Monday and 40 degrees on Tuesday, according to Maxar.

German day-ahead power rose to 397.09 euros ($403.21) a megawatt-hour, the highest since March, on Epex Spot SE. Power supplies are short as warm air reduces wind generation, leaving solar to make up the shortfall. 


Electricite de France SA’s nuclear-output cuts are expected to stretch into next week as a heat wave sweeping across Europe pushes up river temperatures, restricting EDF’s ability to cool its plants.

The French utility said that two power stations on the Rhone River will produce less electricity in the coming days, adding to cutbacks at another plant caused by rising temperatures on the Garonne.

The restrictions threaten to push power prices — already at eye-watering levels — even higher, with the effects rippling out to other European markets. The region is suffering its worst energy crunch in decades as supply concerns drive a surge in the cost of natural gas.

Under French rules, EDF must reduce or halt nuclear output when river temperatures reach certain thresholds to ensure that the water used to cool the plants won’t harm the environment when put back into the waterways.

The embattled utility has estimated that output this year will be the lowest in more than three decades as multiple plants are shut for maintenance and checks. Its troubles are forcing the nation, traditionally an exporter, to rely on imports from neighbors including the UK, which is facing its own energy crisis.

France’s nuclear reactors were operating at 46% of capacity on Friday, down from 47% on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg calculations using data from grid operator RTE.

The supply constraints have seen French week-ahead power jump 18% since last week to 500 euros a megawatt-hour on the European Energy Exchange AG. That would be the highest weekly close on record. Year-ahead prices are also trading at an all-time high.


2 Responses to “Germany Solar Sets New Record, While French Nuclear Gasps in Heat”

  1. What we need now is a way to produce natural gas out of solar power. It would help us a lot and we know how to store larg quantities of natural gas. The infrastructure is there and can be used at once. There must be a way to do this. If it cost energy to produce hydrogen out of methan then there must be a way to produce energy by making natural gas out of hydrogen(produced out of solar power and CO2 out of the air). At least that is what I think. But it is a long time ago I had chemical lessons on highschool.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Using RE to create more of a powerful greenhouse gas (natgas is primarily CH4) is bizarre.

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