New record marks for German electricity exports have been repeatedly set during the last few weeks and months. From January until May 2013, more than 31 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity were exported from Germany. This represents an increase of more than 46 per cent over the same period last year. With favourable weather conditions, Germany now meets a large part of its energy needs with renewable energy. However, the electricity prices on the European Power Exchange have now reached a new low. In this context it is often criticised that the generation of electricity from renewable energies is initially subsidised at a high financial cost in Germany only for the electricity to be subsequently exported abroad at a low price. Is this criticism justified?
Electricity exports depend on a range of factors. Fluctuating power generation from renewable energies, which are characterised by the considerable variations in their availability, is just one of them. In addition to international price differences, other influencing factors include the respective demand situation, the available capacities of cross-border interconnections, errors in forecasting the fluctuating generation of renewable energies or the demand, as well as the flexibility of conventional power plants tied to the grid. The aforementioned factors determine not only the German foreign trade but also that of the corresponding trading partner, and apply to varying extents depending on the weather conditions.
An analysis of electricity exports during the summer months by the Transdisciplinary Panel on Energy Change (TPEC, Plattform Energiewende) at the IASS concludes that:
- http://www.iwr.de/news.php?id=24211; as of: 24 August 2013.