Consumers in Germany were paid to use electricity this holiday season

December 26, 2017 by  
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The cost of electricity in Germany has decreased so dramatically in the past few days that major consumers have actually been paid to use power from the grid. While “negative pricing” is not an everyday occurrence in the country, it does occur from time to time, as it did this holiday weekend. This gift to energy consumers is the result of hundreds of billions of dollars invested in renewable energy over the past two decades. This most recent period of negative pricing was a result from warm weather, strong breezes, and the low demand typical of people gathering together to celebrate. Germany’s temporary energy surpluses are a result of both low demand and variably high supply. Wind power typically makes up 12 percent of Germany’s power consumption on a daily basis. However, on windy days, that percentage can easily multiply several times the average. The older segment of Germany’s energy portfolio, such as coal plants , are not able to lower output quickly enough. Thus, there is a glut of electricity. On Sunday, Christmas Eve, major energy consumers, such as factory owners, were being paid more than 50 euros (~$60) per megawatt-hour consumed. Related: First public ultra-fast EV charging station in Europe is now operational Germany is not the only country that has experienced negatively priced power. Belgium, France, the United Kingdom , the Netherlands and Switzerland have all had to face the fortunate problem of too much energy. European countries are often able to share excess power with each other through the grid, though the system is far from perfect. This challenge highlights the essential need for affordable battery storage technology. With battery storage, countries will be able to save excess power in an energy bank, ready to be deployed in an emergency or simply returned to citizens in the form of cheap or even free energy. Via the New York Times Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Consumers in Germany were paid to use electricity this holiday season

New Arval HQ uses geothermal and solar energy to achieve complete power self-sufficiency

December 26, 2017 by  
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The new headquarters for car rental company Arval uses geothermal and solar energy to achieve complete self-sufficiency and a zero-emission status. Pierattelli Architetture designed the building with huge photovoltaic steel wings lined with over 1000 flexible solar panels to maximize solar-collecting capabilities. The architects designed the headquarters , known as the Photovoltaic Bolt, as a Climate House Class A building without emissions. The complex is characterized by huge photovoltaic wings with about 1000 solar panels , realized with a steel frame. Together with the panels installed on the roof, these structures can generate enough power to activate the geothermal pumps in the subsoil and make the building completely energy self-sufficient. Related: OVG’s TNT Centre is an Energy Positive, Zero Emission Office in The Netherlands The office spaces and common areas are distributed across 3 floors and a basement, accommodating about 200 employees per floor. Spaces are articulated around a central dorsal on a north-south axis to provide an east-west direction and guarantee optimum sunlight positioning. Natural light is available throughout the complex. The architects placed ceiling lights of different dimensions to guarantee maximum diffused lighting capability. Large open spaces and colorful furniture help humanize the spaces and enhance socialization. Color coding by program makes navigation more intuitive and fun. + Pierattelli Architetture Photos by Max Lisi

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New Arval HQ uses geothermal and solar energy to achieve complete power self-sufficiency

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