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Energy prices are at zero to negative — but consumers aren't getting the benefits

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DON GONYEA, HOST:

And elsewhere around Europe, the economies of multiple countries are being affected by a peculiar issue - negative energy prices. But citizens won't see that reflected in their household bills. No, the near-zero to negative prices are for the wholesale market, which, by its own calculations, already broke the annual record in some countries for the most hours at negative rates. And the year isn't quite half over yet.

It's all being attributed to the massive investments in solar and wind power in recent years. One energy expert told Reuters recently it could be an indication that, quote, "success is consuming its own offspring." Now, that success doesn't necessarily mean European countries must stop their green revolution. But some say they may need to invest in more capacity for storage. And consumers should, too. So stock up on batteries and hope those energy savings trickle down. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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You're most likely to find NPR's Don Gonyea on the road, in some battleground state looking for voters to sit with him at the local lunch spot, the VFW or union hall, at a campaign rally, or at their kitchen tables to tell him what's on their minds. Through countless such conversations over the course of the year, he gets a ground-level view of American elections. Gonyea is NPR's National Political Correspondent, a position he has held since 2010. His reports can be heard on all NPR News programs and at NPR.org. To hear his sound-rich stories is akin to riding in the passenger seat of his rental car, traveling through Iowa or South Carolina or Michigan or wherever, right along with him.
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