Electricity prices were again negative on the electricity exchange between 24 and 31 December, trading as low as minus EUR 220/MWh. Statkraft and its direct marketing partners cut production by as much as 300 MW within 18 hours, to keep prices from dropping further. This reduced the pass-on charge per the Renewable Energy Act by roughly 11 million euros.
Further throttling supply to the intraday market by up to 300 MW enhanced system stability while saving additional costs. The amount of intraday control savings cannot yet be quantified however: “Intervention in the intraday market is an acute measure for balancing grid supply and demand in providing operating reserve. The precise financial impact can only be calculated months later – if at all,” observed Stefan-Jörg Göbel, Managing Director of Statkraft Markets GmbH with headquarters in Düsseldorf.
“This first successful cutback move demonstrates how renewable energies can be managed responsibly from a system standpoint to produce in line with the market when efficiently marketed using the market premium model,” Göbel commented. “The market premium model plays an important role in successfully transitioning over to renewables by keeping negative electricity prices in check. We especially thank our partners, for whom any cutbacks represent an earnest business decision.”
Negative electricity prices occur when there is large feed-in energy supply at a time of low electricity market demand. In addition to the standard feed-in tariffs per the Renewable Energy Act, the public also have to bear the cost of eliminating excess power when this occurs.
Statkraft is Europe’s largest producer of renewable energies, and Germany’s largest direct marketer of renewable energy employing the market premium model. The company markets energy generated by independent contractors’ systems with maximum efficiency on the electricity market. The model is designed to ensure renewable energy is produced in line with demand.
The company is currently connecting all of its marketing partners’ distributed renewable production units together into a virtual power plant. Digital control technology allows precise regulating of system production within seconds to match the current demand situation.
Statkraft now is able to regulate roughly 700 MW of wind power from 35 wind farms throughout Germany. And the virtual power plant is growing fast, with around 150 MW being added from newly connected systems every month. Statkraft projects controllable capacity to total around 1,500 MW by the end of the first quarter, roughly equivalent to the output of one nuclear power plant.
Statkraft is Europe’s leader in renewable energy. The group develops and generates hydropower, wind power, gas power and district heating, and is a major player on the European energy exchanges. Statkraft has roughly 3,400 employees in more than 20 countries.
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