Bloomberg News

Snow in Germany Cuts Solar Power Output, Meteogroup Says

December 06, 2012

Snowfall in Germany is reducing solar output as covered panels can’t generate power at a time when below-freezing temperatures are boosting demand for heating.

There may be peaks of 6 to 8 gigawatts of solar from today through to Dec. 8 before more cloud and snow on Dec. 10 cuts output below 4 gigawatts, according to Meteogroup U.K. Ltd.

“Continuation of the cold period across Europe through the next two weeks has high confidence considering the long forecast period,” Stephen Davenport, head of energy forecasting at MeteoGroup U.K. said by e-mail from London.

Germany generates about 20 percent of its electricity from renewables. Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to exit nuclear energy by 2022 and raise the nation’s share of renewable sources to at least 35 percent of the power mix by the end of this decade.

The low temperature in Frankfurt will fall to minus 10 degrees Celsius (14 Fahrenheit) on Dec. 9 compared with a five- year average of 5 degrees, according to CustomWeather Inc. data on Bloomberg. As much as 15 centimeters (5.9 inches) of snow is predicted to fall tomorrow in some regions of Germany, according to the government-owned weather service Deutscher Wetterdienst.

Wind generation in the country will peak tomorrow at 9 to 10 gigawatts before winds drop on Dec. 8, Davenport said. A peak of 8 to 10 gigawatts is forecast overnight on Dec. 9, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rachel Morison in London at rmorison@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net


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