More Than 90% Renewable Energy in Germany on 8 May 2016 12:45, Negative Prices Down to -178 EUR/MWh

Last Sunday at 12:45 it was sunny and windy, and the end of a long holiday weekend. It looks like this resulted in more than 90% renewable energy, a whopping 13.6 GW of power exports, and EPEX spot intraday continuous power prices down to -178.01 EUR/MWh, with a weighted average of -144.78 EUR/MWh during that time.

Based on aggregated data from Fraunhofer ISE on their energy-charts website (using the data for solar, wind and conventional above 100 MW, as of the time of writing this) this would add up to 96% of the power that stayed in the country. 13.59 GW were exported, 29% of non-export power. To be precise, the data German electricity production on 8 May 2016 at 12:45 CEST was

source GW % net production
solar 27.62 59%
wind 17.3 37%
conventional >100 15.32 33%
total production 60.24 129%
export -13.59 -29%
net production 46.65 100%

Using Fraunhofer ISE’s charts for week 18, this looks like this:

German Electricity Production week 18 2016

German electricity production, week 18 2016, source: https://www.energy-charts.de/power.htm

Based on EPEX SPOT data, the lowest price between 12:30 and 12:45 was EUR -178.01 EUR/MWh, with a weighted average of -144.78 EUR/MWh. Later in the day, prices went down even further to -374.00 EUR/MWh between 14:30 and 14:45. The lowest weighted average price during the day was between 14:15 and 14:30 at -241.83 EUR/MWh. Volatility was high, with prices going up to 100 EUR/MWh between 20:30 and 20:45.

On Fraunhofer ISE’s energy chart showing production and the power price for the same period, those negative and positive prices look like this:

160508FraunhoferISEGermanElectricityPricesAndProductionWeek16

German electricity prices and production, week 18 2016, source: https://www.energy-charts.de/price.htm

I assume that last weekend’s figures will be refined and discussed and explained in more detail in the coming days and weeks (see for example energytransition.de, reneweconomy, Quartz). It will be interesting to see the different spins people may want to give to the data. In any event, it is clear that the physical and commercial reality of such a scenario also demonstrates serious challenges for the regulatory framework for energy, including not only electricity market design, renewable energy support, grid expansion, or digitisation.

[amended, adding lowest figures for the day]

Source: Fraunhofer ISE Energy Charts, EPEX SPOT

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22 Responses to “More Than 90% Renewable Energy in Germany on 8 May 2016 12:45, Negative Prices Down to -178 EUR/MWh”


  • Mutthias Leng

    The difference is indeed due to power exports – I said “96% of the power that stayed in the country”, i.e. the figure is percentage of German electricity production from renewable energy based on German consumption at that time. In other words, and based on the ISE Fraunhofer figures mentioned above: German power generation based on renewables would have been sufficient to cover 96% of German demand at that time. Details of the calculation are in the text above.

  • Mark Nelson

    Mr Lang – over the course of the day on Sunday, Germany’s electricity generation was approximately 2.5 times more carbon-intensive than France’s dirtiest single day of electricity production in the last four years (approx. 310g CO2 per kWh for Germany on May 8th vs 128g CO2 per kWh for France on 3/28/2013). On May 8th, when Germany’s record-breaking renewables production occurred, Germany’s power was over ten times more carbon-intensive than France’s, at 26g per kWh. In this light, it becomes extremely difficult to see even this spectacular day of renewables production, and its accompanying electricity market perturbations, as a harbinger of good things to come for the climate.

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