Germany has to send electricity to neighbouring countries – and has to pay for it
Germany is giving away electricity to its neighbors electricity. According to a report by “Handelsblatt” several thousand megawatt hours flowed over the borders on New Year’s Day. And not even free of charge: whoever accepted Germany’s electricity gift was paid to take it.
Germany is increasingly selling electricity at negative prices. On New Year’s Day, according to the report, it peaked at € 76 per megawatt hour. In recent years, the number of hours in which electricity had to be exported in this way has increased. In 2008, the phenomenon occurred on 15 hours per year, in 2017 it was already happening during 146 hours, according to Federal Network Agency.
The cost of having to pay for the exports are carried to a significant part by German electricity consumers. Transmission system operators also have to purchase electricity from renewable sources, even if there is no demand. In these situations, electricity prices go negative. The costs for this are transferred by the operators to the consumers.
The Federal Ministry of Economics does not seem to be concerned about the development. But some policy makers are alarmed, Handelsblatt reports. The issue is likely to play a role in the forthcoming coalition talks between Christian Democrats and the SPD.
“We can’t afford this insanity for much longer. The next coalition governing will have to tackle this issue, ” the newspaper quotes Bernd Westphal, the economics spokesperson of the SPD parliamentary group.
The misguided developments of the Energiewende are endangering Germany’s security of supply and its competitiveness, said Thomas Bareiß, the energy policy coordinator of the Christian Democratic parliamentary party.