On Sunday clean energy supplied nearly all of the power demand for Germany. This is a major achievement for Chancellor Angela Merkel's who pushed the policy to boost renewable energy and phase out increased reliance on oil and gas and potential increase in nuclear energy.
Solar and wind power peaked at 2 p.m. local time on Sunday, allowing renewables to supply 45.5 gigawatts as demand was 45.8 gigawatts, according to provisional data by Agora Energiewende, a research institute in Berlin. (Source Bloomberg).
Additional countries are following similar paths to Germany by increasing amounts of renewable energy capacity. Last year Denmark 140% of energy demand via wind farms
Countries around Europe are building increasing amounts of renewable capacity in order to reduce their carbon emissions and boost supply security. Last year Denmark’s wind farms supplied 140 percent of demand, while the U.K. had no coal-fired power stations meeting electricity demand for about four hours on May 10 as a result of plant breakdowns.
Renewables were only able to meet demand because of Germany’s strong export capability, the analyst said. Even when solar and wind peaked, conventional power plants were still supplying 7.7 gigawatts.
Merkel’s unprecedented shift to clean energy has squeezed margins at coal and gas plants while driving up costs for consumers in Europe’s biggest power market. The increased flows of clean energy have also put pressure on the grid to the point that the country is considering excluding certain regions from future onshore wind power auctions if local grids are already struggling to keep up with large volumes of renewable energy supplies.
“If Germany was an island, with no export cables, this would be technically impossible because you always need to have some thermal generation running as a back up supply for when the wind or solar drops off,” Depraetere said.
“Germany consumed 100 percent renewable energy yesterday, but we’re unlikely to see clean energy supply 100 percent of generation anytime soon,” he said.