Electricity bills are often ludicrously high thanks to our energy-intensive modern world, but every now and then, thanks to the forces of nature, a metaphorical miracle takes place. As reported by Quartz, Germany just experienced such a phenomenon when a particularly bright and sunny day supercharged their solar and wind power sectors.
Around 1 p.m. on May 8, the nation’s renewable energy generating facilities were supplying around 55 gigawatts of the 63 gigawatts being consumed – about 87 percent of the total electricity consumption. With the addition of the country’s conventional power plants, the output actually exceeded the national demand. This energy surplus meant that, for a brief time, energy prices were actually negative, meaning consumers were effectively being paid to consume electricity.
A similar feat occurred in Denmark last year, when a terrifically windy day boosted their wind power sector so much that these turbines alone generated 140 percent of the nation’s electricity demand, with the excess energy being exported to Germany, Norway, and Sweden.
According to a United Nations report, Germany intends to be one of the frontrunners when it comes to renewable energy; it has pledged to be powered entirely by renewable energy sources by 2050, an ambitious feat to say the least. Days like May 8 serve to give this ambition genuine credibility.
Source: IFL Science