Increased renewable energy production in Germany causes electricity costs to plummetApril 21, 2014
The price of electricity continues to lower in countries surrounding Germany.
According to data that was newly released by Platts Continental Power (CONTI) Index, for five consecutive months, Germany’s neighboring countries have seen a drop in electricity prices due to an increase in German renewable energy generation, especially in relation to wind and solar power production.
Prices have steadily decreased since the start of 2014.
In March, Platts’s data shows that in Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands, the index dropped to €35.06/MWh (per megawatt hour), which was an 18% decrease from the month before. On the whole, since it peaked at €50.50/MWh back in November 2013, the index has been reduced by over 39%.
In a news release, the Platts managing editor of European power and gas, Andreas Franke, stated, “A mid-March surge in German wind output followed seven days of peak solar output, which rose above 20 gigawatts (GW) to a new monthly record of 23 GW on March 20.”
Currently, renewable energy makes up 25% of German electricity.
When measured by installed capacity, Germany’s solar and wind energy combined is over 70 gigawatts, which makes these renewable energy systems the country’s biggest power producers. The Platts data found that compared to 2013, for the first three month of 2014, the output from German wind and solar energy has improved by 40%. More specifically, solar energy experienced a 74% boost from over a year ago and renewable wind energy had a 31% increase from the first quarter of last year.
Based on data from the Fraunhofer Institute, although solar and wind power production has increased for the past three years, there has been a notable decline in energy production that comes from fired power plants and natural gas.
A recent report from Reuters revealed that a reform measure for Germany’s renewable energy law, which was approved by the cabinet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will slow green energy growth, and new investors who are interested in clean power will be forced to take certain risks.
By 2035, under this reform measure, the German government would like the country’s renewable energy generation to make up between 55 to 60 % of its total energy production.