• 4 minutes Pompeo: Aramco Attacks Are An "Act Of War" By Iran
  • 7 minutes Who Really Benefits From The "Iran Attacked Saudi Arabia" Narrative?
  • 11 minutes Trump Will Win In 2020
  • 15 minutes Experts review Saudi damage photos. Say Said is need to do a lot of explaining.
  • 17 mins Iran Vows Major War Even If US Conducts "Limited Strikes"
  • 4 hours Shale profitability
  • 55 mins Memorize date 05/15/2018 cause Huawei ban is the most important single event in world history after 9/11/2001.
  • 8 hours When Trying To Be Objective About Ethanol, Don't Include Big Oil Lies To Balance The Argument
  • 5 mins Hong Kong protesters appeal to Trump for support.
  • 2 hours Europe: The Cracks Are Beginning To Show
  • 11 hours Ethanol, the Perfect Home Remedy for A Saudi Oil Fever
  • 16 hours Let's shut down dissent like The Conversation in Australia
  • 10 hours One of the fire satellite pictures showed what look like the fire hit outside the main oil complex. Like it hit storage or pipeline facility. Not big deal.
  • 16 hours A little something for all you Offshore swabbies
  • 18 hours New designs will reduce transport fuels consumption
  • 4 hours LA Times: Vote Trump out in 2020 to Prevent Climate Apocalypse
  • 20 hours Democrats and Gun Views
  • 2 hours US and China are already in a full economic war and this battle for global hegemony is a little bit frightening
  • 7 hours Yawn... Parliament Poised to Force Brexit Delay Until Jan. 31
Alt Text

Home Energy Storage Capacity Breaks Records In US

As costs for battery storage…

Alt Text

Oil Prices Must Drop Sharply To Compete With EVs

The long-term breakeven oil price needs to…

Alt Text

Big Oil To Seal Record Number Of Green Energy Deals In 2019

The world’s biggest oil companies…

Andy Tully

Andy Tully

Andy Tully is a veteran news reporter who is now the news editor for Oilprice.com

More Info

Premium Content

Sun, Wind Combine To Give Germany A Bit Of Free Electricity

It was, perhaps, a mirror image of the perfect storm: An abundance of sunshine and wind in Germany on May 11 stimulated solar and wind energy generators to the point where the price of electricity cost literally less than nothing for about an hour.

Bernard Chabot, a renewable energy consultant in France, has charted the activities of solar and wind energy generators that day. Shortly after midday, according to Chabot, the total amount of renewable energy entering Germany’s electrical grid was enough for nearly three-fourth’s of the country’s demand.

Germany, which vigorously promotes renewable energy, has enacted regulations encouraging investment in such generators, and its commercial grid is required to buy every bit of unconventional energy generated.

The amount of wind and solar energy can vary, though, and can cause a dangerous surge if there’s a glut of electricity generated by conventional and renewable sources. Still, weather forecasts can anticipate such surges 24 hours in advance, allowing time to reduce some conventional power generation.

But even that doesn’t cover every option. In an interview with Business Insider, Chabot said it may be easy to cut production at a plant powered by gas, but it’s not so simple at a coal-fired or nuclear generator. So on May 11, these facilities in Germany simply sold their electricity at extremely low prices, which for about an hour even descended into negative territory.

Germany produces much of its electrical power from renewable sources – fully 27 percent, for example, in the first quarter of 2014. Most of these generators are owned by independent contractors, including cooperatives and private citizens.

Related Article: Canadian-Saudi JV to Build $5 Billion Solar Power Installation in Nigeria

But the energy news out of Germany isn’t all good. The country’s conventional power companies remain committed to fossil fuels. And while Germany’s reliance on renewable energy is growing, conventional power generators are attracted to the inexpensive coal now being offered by the United States.

The cost of U.S. coal has dropped because of an abundance of gas obtained by the relatively new technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. As a result, according to Bloomberg News, German utilities plan to open eight new coal-fired plants over the next two years.

Still, in Germany, the generation of renewable energy is steadily growing. The 27 percent share from renewables of all electricity generated in the country is more than twice that in the United States, which reported that about 13 percent of its electricity came from renewable sources by November 2013, according to Bloomberg.

Chabot says Germany is bound to maintain its progress in the use of renewables as it pursues its goal to derive 80 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050.

In an e-mail exchange with ThinkProgress.org, Chabot wrote that “there are no technical and economic obstacles to go first to 20 percent of annual electricity demand penetration rate from a combination of those two technologies, then 50 percent and beyond by combining them with other renewables and energy efficiency measures and some progressive storage solutions at a modest level.”

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage



Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play