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No Bloomberg, Germany Did Not Get All Its Power From Renewables

May 26, 2016

By Paul Homewood  


h/t Stewgreen




Bloomberg ran this headline last week:


  • Wind, solar, biomass and hydro met demand on Sunday afternoon

  • Angela Merkel’s Energiewende is squeezing coal and gas margins

Clean power supplied almost all of Germany’s power demand for the first time on Sunday, marking a milestone for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “Energiewende” policy to boost renewables while phasing out nuclear and fossil fuels.

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. Power prices turned negative during several 15-minute periods yesterday, dropping as low as minus 50 euros ($57) a megawatt-hour, according to data from Epex Spot.


Germany’s power supply by hour

Source: Agora Energiewende


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.


Which is all very interesting because the claim is totally untrue. As the graph from Agora now shows, renewables peaked at 10 GW or more below total demand.




Indeed, Agora themselves have since apologised for their error:





I wonder when Bloomberg will run headlines about their false claims?


But perhaps more interesting are some of the other points made in their report, such as:


Events like this highlight that eventually we may need to start curtailing because of market-wide oversupply,” said Monne Depraetere, an analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “In the long-run, that may provide a case to build technologies that can manage this oversupply — for example more interconnectors or energy storage.”

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.

  1. May 26, 2016 11:38 am

    Reblogged this on Petrossa's Blog.

  2. May 26, 2016 11:48 am

    To cheer about coal and gas margins getting squeezed is like celebrating local farms going out of business following a sudden influx of cheap imported food.

    Renewable energy cheerleader headlines almost always have a major involvement of decades-old hydroelectric systems, there is not an energy transition taking place, just a massive increase in hype.

  3. May 26, 2016 11:53 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  4. Tony Morrison permalink
    May 26, 2016 1:25 pm

    Will Germany be shutting down the program to build nine new coal plants, then?

    • werner permalink
      May 28, 2016 1:34 pm

      No, because there is no such program

  5. May 26, 2016 4:24 pm

    It’s only 100% renewable if not connected to the grid. Or if the conventional plants were shut down during this period. Neither is true, so the statement is false. It was not 100% renewable.

  6. May 27, 2016 12:57 pm

    DramaGreens don’t give fig for the truth do they ? There is a real world but they’d rather live in a GreenFantasyUniverse.

    Dramatic Claim was made and no correction is made ..It’s PR not truth

    Agora were responsible for prehyping, but as soon as news orgs started running the “100% narrative” Agora rapidly started out tweeting warning that these are only preliminary figures.
    Indeed another blog did say the data was faulty on May 17th
    But that doesn’t stop the DramaGreens repeating the old headline again and again.

    ..I guess further into the summer there could be sunny windy days ..and the line could be crossed. BUT Paul’s next post show that most of the time the German renewables generate hardly anything that is nothing for DramaGreens to shout about.

    #2 Notice how DramGreen Blogs immediately mislead cos they say ENERGY when they mean ELECTRICITY ONLY ..which is only a fraction of all energy a country uses
    Planting a seed in the listeners mind that Germany is “nearly there with 100% renewables”, when in fact it’s pretty bad most of the time with electricity, never mind ALL ENERGY ..and even if you check that it is skewed by Germans burning masses of logs for heating. ..hardly CO2 free clean air.

    With these litle errors and confirmation bias stories the Dramagreens keep deceiving themselves and go into hysteria

  7. May 27, 2016 1:06 pm

    ** I just noticed another DramaGreen self deception : They say when generation=consumption thats 100%.
    NO They forget to account for transmission losses.
    The reports usually say “X% of electricity yesterday was generated by renewables.”
    But even if the generation curve touches the CONSUMPTION curve that is not enough you’d need to cover transmission losses ie generate 106% of consumption or something.

  8. May 30, 2016 10:37 am

    Piers Gooselin @No Tricks Zone did cover the story, but unfortunately before the fact that the preliminary data was false came out.
    – But he did manage to point out that of course Germany didn’t run on 100% or even 95% renewables instead they kept the FF ticking over so had to export much solar/wind electricity at NEGATIVE prices …ie pay foreign countries to take German electricity.

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