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German Utilities Pay Power Users as Warm, Windy Christmas Looms

Day-ahead power in Germany turned negative for the first time in at least five years as utilities prefer to pay users rather than halt plants amid low demand, mild temperatures and higher-than-average wind generation.

Baseload next-day power, for supplies delivered around the clock, fell as low as minus 15 euros (minus $19.84) a megawatt- hour, compared with 22 euros a megawatt-hour on Dec. 21 for power delivered today, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. That's the first time the day-ahead contract has been negative since Bloomberg started collecting the data in 2007.

(...) Utilities including EON SE and RWE AG (RWE) may prefer to pay users rather than halt fossil fuel-fed plants when turbines and solar cells push power supply above demand.

"Operators may just decide to accept that they are giving away power and money during the Christmas week for a few hours rather than putting up with even higher costs for switching their units off," Juergen Rogalla, head of power plant operations at Stadtwerke Bielefeld GmbH, a regional utility supplying 280,000 households with power and gas, said Dec. 21.

Wind output in Germany is predicted to rise to about 15 gigawatts tomorrow, Meteologica SA, a Madrid-based weather forecaster, said on its website. That compares with an average level of 5 gigawatts, according to data from Leipzig, Germany- based European Energy Exchange AG on Bloomberg.



Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Dec 25th, 2012 at 05:10:27 PM EST

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