Friday, February 17, 2012

Investigation Into Electricity Trading During Recent European Cold Spell

This report out of Germany sheds some light on questions I've had relating to Europe's electricity sector during the recent cold snap.
France was importing through the cold spell ( showed this) - which isn't surprising giving the less flexible nature of nuclear supply.
Germany was exporting.  Paul Gipe posted 'Renewables Helped France Avoid Freezing in the Dark,' implying renewables were the saviour of Europe,  although German wind's capacity factors didn't look very high in the post, while a report out of the UK showed some very low wind levels, and separately I noted a new argument from a UK wind proponent claiming wind was a back-up for gas, and not the other way around.

I expected we'd need to wait 4-6 months until Germany updated it's monthly generation figures, but this is an early indication that they were running everything they had, including all reserves.

Looks like maybe coal saved France ... and everybody else.

BNetzA Reported to Investigate Electricity Trading During Recent Cold Spell « German Energy Blog:
"Due to the severe cold of the last weeks, electricity prices at the exchanges temporarily soared. Traders that wanted to avoid paying such high prices deliberately lowered forecasts regarding the demand of their customers and delivered only the incorrectly predicted amount of energy, Frankfurter Rundschau reported based on industry sources. To avoid a blackout, transmission system operators had to revert to operating reserves. While the price of this energy is normally higher than prices at the energy exchange, this was not the case at the time.
Allegedly the back-up power plants in Mannheim and Austria that are meant to be the operating reserve after Germany’s accelerated phase-out of nuclear energy had to be activated during the cold spell "
The full blog entry is on the German Energy Blog

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