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Electricity prices temporarily drop below zero in some countries due to weather conditions

Spot market electricity prices will drop below zero in many European countries this weekend. The reasons for this are the strong winds blowing everywhere and the fact that solar plants always generate a lot of energy in the summer. Energy rates are fixed by contract, so most people don’t get this benefit directly. However, people with so-called dynamic energy contracts can temporarily receive additional charges when, for example, switching on a washing machine or charging an electric car.

Electricity prices in about a dozen countries are expected to be negative for much of Sunday, according to data released on Saturday by major trading platform Epex Spot. In the Netherlands, prices are expected to drop to minus €73.76 per MWh on Sunday afternoon.

This is not the first time these prices have fallen below zero. This happens when massive winds and the sun suddenly make more energy available than it consumes. It seems that negative electricity bills are occurring frequently this summer. It’s also amazing that this is happening in so many countries at the same time.

Experts say this is a side effect of the transition to renewable energy, unless it’s accompanied by changes in energy usage. We need smarter appliances and energy storage systems. They consume more energy only when a lot of power is being generated, and less energy the rest of the time.

“Negative pricing is an important signal to encourage flexibility and storage in the electricity system,” said Tom Haddon, a consultant at Arcadis, a consultancy and engineering firm in Cardiff. “Right now, negative pricing is a bug, but it should be a feature.

Power companies are already dealing with wildly fluctuating electricity prices. Earlier this year, Zone Plans and the Association of Dynamic Energy Suppliers (VvDE) reported that more and more households are switching to dynamic energy contracts. Customers under such contracts will pay the energy bill at the then current purchase price.

According to Zonneplan, customers with dynamic energy contracts received money for their electricity consumption for the first time in April. Since then, the company has already experienced a significant negative price spike. Earlier this month, the market price fell briefly below zero to 500 euros. According to Sonneplan’s calculations, anyone who charged an electric vehicle at the time could have made a profit of around €20.

https://nltimes.nl/2023/07/16/electricity-prices-several-countries-temporarily-zero-due-weather-conditions Electricity prices temporarily drop below zero in some countries due to weather conditions

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