Renewable Windfall as Germany's Green Energy Meets 90 Percent of Demand

Germany, the fourth-largest economy in the world and a leader in renewable energy, produced so much energy this weekend from its solar, wind, hydro, and biomass plants that power prices went into negative territory for several hours. Consumers were being paid to use energy.

According to Quartz, around 1 pm on Sunday, May 8—a particularly “sunny and windy day”—the plants supplied a combined 55 gigawatts, or 87 percent, of the 63 gigawatts being consumed.

“The power system adapted to this quite nicely,” Christoph Podewil, of the German clean energy think tank Agora Energiewende, told the publication. “This day shows again that a system with large amounts of renewable energy works fine.”

According to Agora, the average renewable mix in 2015 was 33 percent.

“This is big,” wrote Jeremy Deaton, a journalist with Climate Nexus. “Sunday’s spike in renewable output shows that wind and solar can keep pace with the demands of an economic powerhouse. What’s more, the growth of clean energy has tracked the growth of Germany’s economy.”

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT