09.01.2018

The energy grid of the future

Distribution system operators in eastern Germany and 50Hertz present solutions for stable grid operation..

The energy revolution in Germany is bringing about fundamental changes in the structure of electricity generation, with fewer and fewer large-scale power plants and an increasing amount of electricity being generated through renewable, yet weather-dependent energy sources. System operators for Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are leading the way in integrating renewable energies into the electricity supply. This figure was at 50% in 2015 and 2016, meaning the share of renewable energy sources in electricity consumption has already doubled since 2008. In addition, network operators are expecting to see changes in the rate of consumption, in particular due to the rise of electromobility. To overcome these challenges, the network operators for these eastern states and 50Hertz are taking joint responsibility and working together to create solutions that will safeguard the energy supply in the future.

System operators in eastern Germany (Avacon Netz GmbH, E.DIS Netz GmbH, ENSO NETZ GmbH, Mitteldeutsche Netzgesellschaft Strom GmbH, Stromnetz Berlin GmbH, Stromnetz Hamburg GmbH, Netze Magdeburg GmbH, TEN Thüringer Energienetze GmbH & Co. KG and WEMAG Netz GmbH) and transmission system operator 50Hertz Transmission GmbH (50Hertz) signed up to a 10-point programme back in 2014. Working under the name ARGE Ost, these network operators are now set to present a report containing a number of specific solutions. The companies are supporting these measures in the form of joint pilot projects. The overarching aims are to meet the new requirements in terms of grid management, train staff accordingly, distribute information efficiently, utilise the opportunities provided by digitisation as effectively as possible and improve joint forecasts. By way of example, consumption and supply need to be balanced in order to safeguard the operation of the electrical system. This balance also has to be ensured in future as more and more large-scale power plants go offline. If, for example, the wind speed is lower than expected, this will result in less electricity being supplied to the grid. Discrepancies such as this have to be compensated for with energy from another source. Otherwise, this could lead to power outages.

The full interim report for the 10-point program, which looks at the ongoing development of the cooperation, is available here.