Renewable Energy
A wind farm in the Hesse state of Germany. Neuwieser / Flickr

German Utilities Pay Customers to Use Electricity Thanks to Renewables Surplus

This past May, Germany's renewable energy mix generated so much power that prices actually went negative for several hours, meaning grid operators were forced to pay customers to use electricity.

This coming Sunday, however, wind generation alone is forecast to hit a new record, according to data crunched by Bloomberg. This means average prices will be negative for Germany electricity customers for a whole day, not just for a few hours.

When prices go negative, power producers either close power stations to reduce the electricity supply or pay consumers to take it off the grid, Bloomberg noted.

In May, Germany's mix of solar, wind, hydropower and biomass generated 88 percent of Germany's total electricity demand. While that was an already impressive feat then, on Sunday at 7 a.m, wind generation will peak at 39,190 megawatts—or enough to meet more than half of the country's total demand. That's just from wind power!

Germany's previous wind generation record was 38,370 megawatts on March 18.

The world's fourth largest economy is in the midst of a clean energy revolution known as Energiewende. Fortune reported that German consumers pay a surcharge of around €20 ($23.61) on their energy bills to pay for the initiative. Power prices are higher in Germany than in any other European country except for Denmark, where it costs €0.308 ($0.36) per kilowatt hour versus Germany's €0.298 ($0.34). To compare, residential prices for electricity averages $0.13 cents per kilowatt hour in the U.S.

However, it appears that the overwhelming majority of Germans do not mind paying this extra amount to go green. An survey by the Agency for Renewable Energies (AEE) revealed that 95 percent of Germans rate the expansion of renewables as important to extremely important for energy security and to fight climate change.

"The survey results show the breadth of the societal consensus supporting the Energiewende in Germany," said AEE deputy managing director Nils Boenigk. "People in Germany know the deployment must continue so we can fulflil our obligations regarding climate protection and future generations."

Show Comments ()

Trump Administration Offers 77 Million Acres in Gulf of Mexico to Oil Industry

The Trump administration is holding the biggest offshore oil and gas lease auction in U.S. history Wednesday, offering all 77 million acres of unleased, available federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

The sale comes as administration officials seek to rescind drilling safety rules approved after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, reduce royalties paid by oil companies, and expand offshore drilling into every ocean in the country.

Keep reading... Show less
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt. Mitchell Resnick

Pruitt to Restrict Use of Scientific Data in EPA Policymaking

In the coming weeks, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is expected to announce a proposal that would limit the type of scientific studies and data the agency can use in crafting public health and environmental regulations.

The planned policy shift, first reported by E&E News, would require the EPA to only use scientific findings whose data and methodologies are made public and can be replicated.

Keep reading... Show less
Mity / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

20% of U.S. Diets Responsible for Almost Half of Country’s Food-Related Emissions, Study Finds

If you've been deliberating about going vegetarian, a study published Tuesday in Environmental Letters might give you the final push.

Keep reading... Show less
Sea Shepherd small boat assists the Liberian Coast Guard to chase down the F/V Hai Lung. Sea Shepherd

Notorious Toothfish Poacher Arrested by Liberian Coast Guard, Assisted by Sea Shepherd

A notorious Antarctic and Patagonian toothfish poaching vessel, famous for plundering the Antarctic, was arrested on March 13 in waters belonging to the West African state of Liberia by the Liberian Coast Guard, with assistance from the marine conservation group Sea Shepherd.

The F/V Hai Lung, known to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) by its previous name "Kily," was transiting through Liberian waters when it was boarded and inspected by a Liberian Coast Guard team working alongside Sea Shepherd crew on board Sea Shepherd's patrol vessel M/Y Sam Simon.

Keep reading... Show less

7 Must-See Films at the 42nd Cleveland International Film Fest

It's that time, again!

EcoWatch is proud to be a media partner of the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF), now celebrating its 42nd year. This year, EcoWatch is honored to be sponsoring Anote's Ark. This documentary spotlights Kiribati, a small remote island facing devastating effects due to climate change.

Keep reading... Show less
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: 'We have approved Bayer's plans to take over Monsanto because the parties' remedies, worth well over €6 billion, meet our competition concerns in full.' EU Commission Twitter

EU Approves Controversial Bayer-Monsanto Merger

The European Union approved Bayer's takeover of Monsanto, a major hurdle in the $66 billion merger that would create the world's largest integrated seed and pesticide conglomerate.

The European Commission said the German chemical-maker's takeover of the St. Louis-based agribusiness giant is "conditional on an extensive remedy package, which addresses the parties' overlaps in seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture."

Keep reading... Show less
Todd Porter & Diane Cu

How Much Daily Activity You Need to Burn off 9 Healthy (But High-Calorie) Foods

By Luke Doyle

A healthy lifestyle is fueled by nutrient-rich foods that give your body the energy it needs. But some of these foods come with high calorie counts and the "healthy" label doesn't mean it's okay to consume unlimited amounts of them.

Keep reading... Show less
Marine debris laden beach in Hawaii. NOAA Marine Debris Program / Flickr

Ocean Plastic Projected to Triple Within Seven Years

If we don't act now, plastic pollution in the world's oceans is projected to increase three-fold within seven years, according to a startling new report.

The Future of the Sea report, released Wednesday for the UK government, found that human beings across the globe produce more than 300 million metric tons of plastic per year. Unfortunately, a lot of that material ends up in our waters, with the total amount of plastic debris in the sea predicted to increase from 50 million metric tons in 2015 to 150 million metric tons by 2025.

Keep reading... Show less


The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!