Germany: Master Plan for Flexibility in Brandenburg’s Distribution Networks
The Conference of German Ministers of Economics calls for the legal framework for market-based flexibility in the distribution grid
The basis is the “Master Plan for Flexibility in Brandenburg’s Distribution Networks”.
In the unanimously adopted resolution of the Conference of German Ministers of Economics of 17/18 June 2021, the ministers of economics of the of the German federal states conclude “that the measures taken to date are not sufficient to enable the market-driven development and use of flexibilities in the distribution grid”. Although the planned introduction of the new § 14c into the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) to create the legal framework for the market-based procurement of flexibility services in the grid is welcomed, further changes to energy law are called for.
The basis for this are the results obtained by a broad consortium of stakeholders in Brandenburg within the framework of the ” Master Plan Flexibility in Brandenburg’s distribution grids” with the support of the consulting firm E-Bridge Consulting last year. In addition to the grid operators in Brandenburg – E.DIS, MITNETZ and WEMAG Netz – representatives of the industry (BASF Schwarzheide, Leipa Schwedt), as well as representatives of the energy sector (Energiequelle, Entelios, NODES) and the German wind energy association (Brandenburg regional association) were involved.
“We are very pleased that the forward-looking results of our consortium have been taken up by the conference of economics ministers – this will provide an impetus for the success of the energy turnaround locally”, says Dr. Henning Schuster, Managing Director of E-Bridge Consulting GmbH.
– The goal of the Brandenburg model for the development and utilisation of flexibility is to increase the local use of renewable energy sources, to reduce costs, to reduce costs for grid customers, and to promote value creation and innovation.
– For the first time, this is a holistic approach to a solution with concrete implementation proposals for the EnWG, the Incentive Regulation Ordinance (ARegV), the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and the Electricity Grid Charges Ordinance (StromNEV). It builds on the following four cornerstones:
- Development of a flexibility market concept (hybrid model),
- Consideration of the use of flexibility within the framework of the regulation of grid operators (cost recognition),
- Mapping flexibility in grid charges and
- Reorganisation of levies and charges for flexibility.
– The economic benefits of the proposals can be demonstrated and quantitatively estimated using real case studies in Brandenburg. Based on the assumptions made, the case studies considered (Schwarzheide chemical site, battery storage, power-to-steam, biogas) alone can reduce the regulated RE volume in Brandenburg by up to 30% in the long term. In addition, under the assumptions made, up to 60,000 t of CO2 per year can be saved as things stand today.
– The proposals are highly effective and can be implemented – the federal and state governments must now tackle the corresponding further development of the EnWG, ARegV, EEG and StromNEV.
The expansion of renewable energies (RE) is progressing and will accelerate significantly in the future. Brandenburg is a pioneer in Europe. Already today, the installed capacity of RE is many times higher than the electrical consumption load. Some of the surplus green electricity is transported over long distances and regulated in the event of grid bottlenecks. As the energy transition progresses, this will intensify and become the new reality in many regions of Europe. The distribution and transmission grids will therefore be expanded.
Increasing digitalisation of processes, storage systems and the electrification of mobility and heat generation enable greater flexibility in the electricity system and are thus the basis for new options for action for the grid operator as a supplement to the very time-consuming grid expansion. If the distribution grid operator could use the growing flexibility potential, a number of advantages would arise.
- the feed-in and local use of renewable energy is increased.
- the existing grid infrastructure can be better used and the measures thus potentially have a dampening effect for grid customers on the further development of grid charges shaped by the energy transition.
- new business models and value creation are promoted.
The advantages of using flexibility for grid-serving purposes cannot currently be exploited due to a lack of framework conditions.
- There is a lack of procurement opportunities for flexibility by grid operators.
- Regulatory cost recognition and instruments to take flexibility into account in grid expansion are lacking.
- Flexibility is inhibited by considerable surcharges and fees.
- Incentives for grid-serving flexibility through the grid charging system are lacking.
The “Master Plan Flexibility in Brandenburg’s Distribution Networks” is available online here (German only):