15h Period of Negative Prices at EPEX Spot on 10 May 2015 for German/Austrian Auction

On Sunday 10 May 2015 prices at the EPEX Spot for the German/Austrian auction were negative for a period of 15 consecutive hours, with prices as low as -14.93 EUR/MWh. The Phelix Day Base price was 2.39 EUR/MWh compared with 26.40 EUR/MWh today.

Prices became negative in the second hour, falling to -5.81 EUR/MWh and ranging between 0.08 EUR/MWh and -14.93 EUR/MWh, before reaching positive territory between 16:00 and 17:00 hours with a price of 1.19 EUR/MWh and a peak of 28.01 EUR/MWh between 22:00 and 23:00 hours.

The fact that is was Sunday when demand is lower surely influenced prices. The energy information provider e21.info pointed out 8-hours periods of negative prices also occurred on 11 January and 8 February 2015. Yet the prolonged period of negative prices on 10 May 2015 could not be explained by weather phenomena alone, e21.info cites Alexander Lehmann, managing director of the weather services company Meteomind as wind power input of up to 16.000 MW at night and solar input of up to 22,000 MW around mid-day were high, but not exceptionally high. Rather than false estimations concerning the input, misjudgments concerning the load might have been the cause, e21.info said.

Please note that negative prices lasting for a period of at least six consecutive hours will be penalised pursuant to Section 24 para. 1 EEG (Renewable Energy Sources Act), insofar as the remuneration for renewable power plants otherwise eligible for support under the EEG will be reduced to zero as of 1 January 2016. However, according to Section 24 para. 3 EEG, this does not apply to

  • Renewable power plants that started operations before 1 January 2016;
  • Wind power plants with an installed capacity of less than 3 MW and other renewable power plants with a capacity of less than 500 kW;
  • Demonstration projects.

Hence for the above plants consumers still have to foot the bill via the EEG surcharge (in 2015 it amounted to 6.17 ct/kWh). Negative prices mean that the costs on the EEG account, which records the costs for all transfer payments pursuant the EEG and determines next year’s EEG surcharge, will rise.

For general information on negative prices by EPEX Spot, in particular on how they occur and what they mean, please see here.

Source: EEX; e21.info

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