Weather tracker: power prices dip to negative in Europe amid clean energy boost

08 06 2023 | 08:13Theo Gkousarov

Over the last week, several European countries had power prices in the wholesale energy market dip into negative values during daylight hours. The decline in prices was mostly driven by the abundance of available energy generated by renewable sources, combined with the relatively low demand for energy for heating or cooling, caused by normal springtime temperatures.

Negative prices often occur when there is an excess supply of electricity in the market. This can happen when renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, or hydro produce a large quantity of electricity that exceeds demand and cannot be stored for later use. In such cases, producers may offer negative prices to incentivise wholesale consumers to take the surplus electricity off the grid and avoid overloading the system. This situation occurred due to an area of high pressure dominating across much of central and north-west Europe, providing lots of solar power generation across the area. Meanwhile, Finland experienced an oversupply of hydroelectric power resulting from excessive springtime meltwater, which in turn led to negative prices here as well.

High pressure will remain positioned over Britain and Ireland through the rest of this week and most of next week, leading to predominantly dry and settled conditions across much of the UK, central and northern Europe. Plenty of sunshine is expected, potentially leading to further opportunities for low or negative prices during the daylight hours. Spring-time school holidays including half-term in the UK and Whitsuntide in Germany have pushed many families to take their kids closer to the Mediterranean to enjoy some warmth and the seaside. Nevertheless, areas of low pressure will drive the development of showers and some thunderstorms across popular European resorts, some of these heavy with the risk of frequent lightning and surface flooding.

Over in the western Pacific, Typhoon Mawar has reduced in strength to a category 3 typhoon. Now situated south-east of Taiwan in the Philippine Sea, Mawar’s current projections forecast the typhoon to continue to degrade while veering to the north-east before dissipating by the weekend. While unlikely, the greatest forecast error suggests Mawar could skim the north-east of Taiwan, bringing blustery conditions to the island.







cover photo:An area of high pressure has dominated across much of central and north-west Europe in the past week, providing lots of solar power generation across the area. Photograph: Gareth Lewis/Alamy