Electricity for free this weekend, but only for a short while

Because of the strong winds and with 6 of the 7 nuclear reactors working, Belgium had an overcapacity in electricity production this weekend. This resulted in negative electricity prices last night. This may sound like good news, but in fact it should be put into perspective. 

When we have negative electricity prices, this means that big consumers are being paid to take power from the net. Big companies can have electricity for free, at least for a couple of hours. This weekend's exceptional situation will have no effect on your electricity bill at home, though. 

Negative electricity prices may be exceptional - they are a combination of a big supply and little demand, like in weekends - "but we are seeing this more often than in the past", says energy expert André Jurres, "up to 30 days each year. Both wind turbines and nuclear plants are not flexible: you can't just turn them off for a while."  

These negative prices are not a good thing: "It shows that the market is not stable." Power plants working on natural gas can be a short-term solution, since these are more flexible, says Jurres, but they are not really climate-friendly. This is why Jurres looks at hydrogen as the energy source for the future, together with the wind turbines, where Belgium could cooperate with the Netherlands. 

The large-scale production of hydroge is the future, and wind turbines can help