Is There Such a Thing a Too Much Energy?admin
Although it may sound too good to be true, there was a point earlier this month where German customers were actually being paid to consume electricity, according to Quartz.
On May 8, the nation’s renewable energy facilities were generating approximately 87% of the total electricity be consumed. Factor in the country’s conventional power plants and the energy being produced was actually exceeding the demand. This surplus meant that, for a brief period, energy prices were negative. This is not only great for consumers, but also great for the country itself, which has pledged to be powered completely by renewable energy by 2050. While some might consider this overambitious, other examples of being able to produce a surplus of renewable energy include Denmark, whose windturbines already at some points generate more electricity than can be consumed (140% as a matter of fact) and has exporting the surplus to Germany, Norway and Sweden.
This success also brought to light some pain points. Because of the rigidity of the system, power suppliers and consumers can’t respond quickly to price signals. “Though gas power plants were taken offline, nuclear and coal plants can’t be quickly shut down, so they went on running and had to pay to sell power into the grid for several hours, while industrial consumers such as refineries and foundries earned money by consuming electricity,” also according to Quartz.
Germany isn’t the only country steeping up to take part of this energy revolution. According to IFLScience.com Sweden has initiated legislative and infrastructural changes that put it on track to be the world’s first fossil fuel-free nation; Morocco is implementing a 24/7 concentrated solar power plant that will be capable of supplying energy to the entire region; and the US, Canada and China have all agreed to cooperate to end their reliance on fossil fuels.