Stormy weekend results in most wind energy ever generated in NL

Wind turbines in Amsterdam
Wind turbines in AmsterdamPhoto: Pantona / Wikimedia Commons

The storm winds that rocked the Netherlands on Saturday also resulted in the most ever wind power generated in the country - an average of 4 gigawatts of wind power was generated, compared to the usual 1.2 gigawatts. Over 30 percent of all electricity generated in the country on Saturday, was generated by wind turbines - a record, RTL Nieuws reports based on figures from energieopwek.nl.

This record is a combination of just-strong-enough winds and the increasing number of wind turbines built in the country. 

The wind mills also worked hard during the storms of the previous two weekends. They even resulted in something crazy happening on Sunday, February 16th, a spokesperson for energy supplier Vattenfall said to the broadcaster. "That Sunday, between 4 and 6 a.m., there was so much power that the energy price turned negative." Because the turbines generated a lot of energy, and as most people and companies aren't using power at that time of a Sunday morning, there was a massive surplus.

Such negative prices are rare. It only happened twice before in Dutch history, in 2012 and 2019, according to the broadcaster. The negative prices don't mean consumers will suddenly pay less - they only affect the energy market on which large companies and energy suppliers trade electricity.

This past Saturday was the record day for wind energy generation, even though the winds were stronger during storms Dennis and Ciara. That is because Dutch wind turbines are not built for storm winds. If the winds get too strong, they have to be shut down to prevent damage. During storm Dennis last week this happened for 2.5 hours, and during Ciara the week before for a whole 8 hours, according to the broadcaster. 

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