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Germany Produced So Much Energy, Prices Went Negative For A Day


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On a single day in 2016, Germany generated 87% of its power from renewable sources, prompting electric suppliers to pay users to consume energy. Nearly a year earlier, Denmark produced 140% of its energy needs in one day, proving that it is possible for a country to run completely on renewable energy. Now, Germany has made headlines for accomplishing a similar feat.

According to Quartz, Germany generated around 87% of its power from renewable sources on May 8th, 2016, prompting electric suppliers to pay users to consume energy.

Reportedly, the day was windy and sunny when mass amounts of energy derived from wind, solar, biomass, and hydro plants caused electricity prices to plummet into the negative numbers. Out of the 63 GW being consumed, 55 GW came from renewable sources.

As a result, gas power plants were stopped. Coal and nuclear plants, however, weren’t shut off in time. In effect, heavy electric consumers, such as foundries and refineries, were essentially paid money to use more energy.

Said Christoph Podewils of Agora Energiewende: “We have a greater share of renewable energy every year. The power system adapted to this quite nicely. This day shows again that a system with large amounts of renewable energy works fine.”

In 2015, the company relays, Germany received 32.5% of all energy from renewable sources, up from 27.3% the year before.

New wind power plants are soon to open in Germany, therefore, it is likely the country will meet its goal of electricity from 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

Germany isn’t the only country transitioning to clean energy. Sweden aims to be the world’s fossil fuel-free nation, and Denmark’s wind turbines already at some points generate more electricity than the country consumes, exporting the surplus to Germany, Norway and Sweden.

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