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Storms have passed through Germany in recent days, having an impact not only on electricity generation from wind power plants.
The overall level of feed-in from renewables in Germany at the weekend was very high, due in part to an increased number of storms. The amount of electricity generated by renewables was continuously higher than the amount consumed (grid load) throughout many hours on both Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 February.
Some of the large amount of electricity supplied is exported to other countries in cross-border trading or is used to fill pumped storage reservoirs in Germany. This is reflected in the electricity market data for the weekend.
Electrical energy is used to pump water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir. The amount of energy used is also referred to as the electricity consumed in pumping and is shown on the SMARD website under "Actual consumption" as "Hydro pumped storage".
The water can be released later back to the lower reservoir, driving the turbines to create electricity. It is lucrative for operators to pump water up whenever the wholesale price is low and to release water back whenever the price is higher.
The chart below shows that the amount of electricity used for pumping on Saturday was higher in those hours in which feed-in from renewables was high, while in the evening, when feed-in from renewables was lower, the amount of electricity generated by pumped storage stations was higher. There was a similar pattern on Sunday.
Both charts show that the wholesale price was low whenever feed-in from renewables was high. The lowest price of the weekend (minus 0.52 euros per megawatt hour) was recorded on Saturday between 1pm and 2pm, when generation from renewables was 58.5 gigawatt hours and consumption was 57.5 GWh. The wholesale price went up again in the evening.
Update from 7 February 2022:
On Sunday 6 February, renewable generation met total electricity consumption (network load) from midnight until 9:30am, again affecting wholesale electricity prices. In the day-ahead market the lowest price of the weekend (€0.12/MWh) was recorded on Sunday between 6am and 7am.
The day-ahead wholesale electricity price develops consistently with the course of the forecasted residual load, which indicates the share of electricity consumption that is not expected to be covered by wind or solar PV generation. A low residual load of 3,758 MWh was expected for the hour in which the wholesale electricity price was €0.12/MWh.
The overall high feed-in from renewables was due to the storm Roxana making its way over Germany. Generation over the weekend (from midnight on Friday until 11:59pm on Sunday) from onshore and offshore wind power stations alone was 2,708 GWh and covered 66.4% of electricity consumption. If electricity generation from other renewable energy sources is added to that, then renewables covered 79.8% of consumption.
Due to relatively low wholesale prices compared with most of its neighbours, Germany was a net exporter throughout the weekend. Thus since 8pm on Monday 31 January there have been no hours with a net import.
Recent storms visible in electricity market data (from 31 January 2022)
Since the middle of last week various other storms in addition to Cyclone Nadia have been passing through Germany. Their impact on the electricity market has also been visible in electricity generation data. Electricity generation from wind power stations rose significantly beginning on Wednesday, 26 January and then fell again from Thursday evening until Friday afternoon. After that, generation increased again and remained high throughout the weekend. From Saturday until Sunday a total of 2,152 GWh of electricity from renewables were fed into the grid, including around 1,812 GWh from onshore and offshore wind power stations. With an electricity consumption (grid load) of 2,622 GWh, that means renewables met 82.1% of consumption, with 69.1% of total feed-in coming from onshore and offshore wind generation.
Supply and demand determine the price on the electricity market. When a large amount of electricity can be generated at a low price through a high share of feed-in from renewables and made available on the market, this results in a correspondingly low wholesale electricity price.
This effect is clearly visible in the electricity market data of recent days. In time periods when an especially high share of electricity consumption could be covered by renewables, the German wholesale electricity price was proportionately low. The lowest price of the fourth calendar week (€2.30/MWh) was reached on Sunday 30 January between midnight and 1am.
Commercial foreign trade data also shows that Germany was a net exporter of electricity throughout the time period from Wednesday 16 January to Sunday 30 January. Germany exported more electricity each hour than it imported.
According to the national meteorological service the storm "Odette" will arrive today with slightly lower wind speeds. On Tuesday the outer tips of the storm "Philine" are forecasted to extend over Germany. You can view anticipated electricity generation from wind power stations in advance of the storm in SMARD's forecast data. Data is submitted beginning at around 6pm for the following day. The forecasted residual load is an indicator of the share of electricity consumption that is not expected to be covered by solar PV or wind generation.