Solar energy is an important source of power generation in the modern world, and its absence can be equally critical for the power markets. On March 20, 2015, a solar eclipse in Europe profoundly impacted regional power markets. The continent underwent an absence of a major portion of its sunlight from 8:30 to 11 a.m., which consequently led to an outage of power production across Europe. With the electricity grid in Europe being widely interconnected, the eclipse posed a unique challenge for the continent. The situation has caused European nations to consider contingency plans and various other aspects related to this event such as power prices.1

Natural gas and coal were thought of as alternative options, and thus plants anticipated monetary benefits during the eclipse with a substantial rise in power prices. An eye was kept on Germany, considering its huge contribution towards Europe’s solar capacity; therefore, Germany’s intraday market exhibited a jaw-dropping 123% rise in power prices on March 20, which completely shook the power market. This is due to the exceptionally large percentage of Germany’s power that is generated through solar energy. During the solar eclipse, Germany’s electricity grid required equilibrium through electricity reserves, but it was heavily dependent on real-time data so that the minute details could be observed and analyzed while an incessant communication channel was maintained with the transmission system operators.2

Solar Eclipse

 

Intelligent analysis of market data can lead to a clear understanding of the event. ZEMA equips you with the tools to easily structure and build an analysis on any commodity data, including power. The ZEMA graph above showcases the strength of the Market Analyzer tool to analyze historical data. Market Analyzer lets you zoom into a particular event, such as this solar eclipse, and measure power in different units and granularities to produce definite results. In the ZEMA graph above, forecasted solar power generation is compared to the actual, and an obvious plunge in the solar power production is observed.

ZEMA offers the ability to stay updated with real-time data and draw valuable conclusions from graphs that are automatically constructed from whatever data you wish to analyze. ZEMA also provides dynamic date options that let your graphs remain current. Also, as demonstrated in the above graph, you can use different data sources to analyze the actual and forecasted power generation, such as TransnetBW, Amprion, and Fifty Hertz. All of this data is available from a single access point in Market Analyzer.

ZEMA is a powerful tool to convert data into knowledge, making real-time market information meaningful for any energy event, even ones as unique as solar eclipses. Book a demo to learn what ZEMA can do for you.

Bibliography

  1. Amos, Jonathan Webb and Jonathan. BBC NEWS: Science & Envionment. March 20, 2015. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31965456 (accessed March 20, 2015).
  2. Stefan Nicola, Weixen Zha and Rachel Morison. Bloomberg Business. March 19, 2015. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-20/eclipse-tests-european-power-grid-flooded-by-solar-farms (accessed March 20, 2015).