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German December wind power output on track for record monthly high

Highlights


Christmas Eve, Boxing Day power prices negative on storms

December wind average above 19 GW, up over 50% on year

Total annual wind output already above 100 TWh

Wind power will be Germany's biggest single source of electricity this quarter with a number of storms pushing wind output to new record-highs and December on track for a new monthly output record over 14 TWh.

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Data from grid operators aggregated by think-tank Fraunhofer ISE as well as wind forecasts also showed that, on average, wind turbines will have generated some 19 GW each hour this month, a record monthly average and some 50% above December last year, the actual production data as well as a wind forecast by spotrenewables.com for the final five days of 2017 showed.

Wind output this year, which has already passed the 100 TWh mark for the first time, was estimated to reach around 104 TWh, based on that set of data.

Wind production on Sunday averaged over 34 GW, the data showed, with spot power prices settling below zero and wind accounting for over half of power demand during the Christmas holidays, data from WindEurope showed.



According to data from spot power exchange Epex Spot, Tuesday also settled below zero for it to be the second Christmas in a row with two days of negative spot power prices.

So far in 2017, there have been six days that have settled below zero with another powerful storm forecast for the New Year's Eve weekend.

Good wind conditions since October have boosted output this quarter above 37 TWh, outperforming even lignite coal at an estimated 33 TWh, the Fraunhofer ISE data showed.

Overall, lignite coal remained Germany's single biggest source of electricity with a share of 22% in the annual power mix, but wind has now moved ahead of coal, gas and nuclear into second place with a share of 16%, the data showed.

Installed wind capacity (offshore and onshore) was estimated at 55 GW by the end of this year with a record 6 GW of new turbine capacity estimated to be added this year, according to the latest data.

--Andreas Franke, andreas.franke@spglobal.com
--Edited by Dan Lalor, daniel.lalor@spglobal.com