Demands on the grid operator are increasing due to changes in energy generation, distribution and use. This is due in particular to developments in information and communication technology. Customers' requirements for transparent information and data on their consumption behaviour are also increasing. The growing amount of information, the fast availability and provision of all the necessary data and its use in managing and controlling the electricity grids in real time are challenges that we, as a grid operator, enjoy getting to grips with. And large chunks of this information are also relevant to other market stakeholders: customers, energy suppliers, energy traders and generators and upstream grid operators. All of these will benefit.
Controlling the electricity grid
More individual usage
Whereas customers in the private and commercial areas had very similar usage behaviour in the past, technical innovations, new types of product and the increase in renewable generation will make energy usage more individual in future. The retroactive effects of modern electrical devices on the grid need to be compensated by appropriate measures and taken into account in a complex grid management system. The grid operator needs to collect a much wider range of data on all types of situation in the grid and use this data to manage it.
Considerably more information
With changes in the energy feed and usage, the grid operator will need to take considerably more information into account in future. Prior to the energy revolution, electricity from a conventional power station was fed into the highest voltage grid (380 kV) and from there, was transported over several voltage levels directly to the customer's house connection at the low voltage level (0.4 kV). Over the course of the energy revolution, more renewable, local feeders are being connected to the energy grid, which now feed in at the intermediate voltage levels: high voltage (110 kV), medium voltage (10 kV) and low voltage (0.4 kV). This development went some way to reversing the uni-directional load flow, which used to be the standard, and poses new challenges for the electricity grid in guaranteeing grid stability. As the operator of Berlin's electricity grid, to ensure secure grid operation we need to keep an eye of the operation situation of the city's assets and the amounts of energy and the flow directions. In several places, the grid technology for this is already automated by remote control.