Europe’s drive toward a power system based on renewable energy has gone so far that output will probably need to be cut within months because of oversupply.
Network operators are likely to curb solar and wind generation at times of low demand to prevent overloading the region’s 188,000 miles (302,557 kilometers) of power lines, Entso-e, the grid association in Brussels, said last month. Renewable output is poised to almost double to 18 percent by 2020, according to Energy Brainpool GmbH & Co. KG, a consulting firm in Berlin.
Europe’s fivefold surge in green energy in the past decade pushed prices to a nine-year low and wiped out $400 billion in market value of utilities from Germany’s RWE AG to GDF Suez SA in Paris. There’s so much power available on windy and sunny days in Germany and Austria that the number of hours producers had to pay consumers to use it doubled in the first five months of 2014, data from the Epex Spot SE exchange in Paris show.
“The system is costly and we need intelligent answers,” Johannes Teyssen, chief executive officer of Dusseldorf, Germany-based EON SE, said June 2 in an interview at the Eurelectric conference in London. “There are some hours where it is inevitable that we will be oversupplied.”
EU Will be Forced To Curtail Renewable Energy Generation this Summer