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Germany Continues Exporting Electricity: Renewables Driving Down Prices Despite Closing Reactors

Recent data shows Germany continues to export electricity despite closing seven nuclear reactors. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that continued renewable energy expansion in Germany is driving down power prices.

Germany's bureau of statistics reports that the country exported more electricity than it imported during the first half of 2011. This disproves widespread rumors circulating in North America that Germany is closing its nuclear power plants by relying on imports of electricity from its neighbors.

Though the bureau of statistics notes that the margin of exports over imports has decreased from 2010, Germany sold 4 TWh more electricity than it bought during the period. Germany consumes more than 300 TWh every six months. The surplus for export represents about one percent of consumption.

In the first half of 2010, Germany exported nearly 11 TWh more electricity than it imported.

Bloomberg reports that Germany is expected to add 7,000 MW of wind and solar generating capacity in 2013, exceeding the installations projected for 2012. This massive expansion of renewable energy generating capacity is affecting the futures market for fossil-fuel fired generation.

Bloomberg quotes their own in-house expert: "The installed solar base in Germany is growing rapidly thanks to continued feed-in tariff support," according to Jenny Chase, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy. "We expect this to weigh on power spot prices, particularly because renewable energy has priority grid access and near-zero marginal cost," she added.

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CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

03/01/2015
Volume 18, Issue 3
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