For three weekends in a row, an extremely high wind input met with low demand for electricity - resulting in around 20 hours of negative electricity prices on the European short-term exchanges. The 6-hour rule, according to which the market premium for subsidized plants under the Renewable Energies Act is suspended if prices remain negative for more than six hours, took effect in both cases - as it has done several times in recent weeks. Additional electricity consumption could ease this situation - for example by Power-to-X plants or electricity storage facilities that could obtain their electricity at these times. The reason why this is not happening is the levies and taxes that currently make this power purchase model unprofitable. Direct use of the to-be-curtailed renewable electricity for heating applications is also not yet possible for legal reasons. Sector coupling works somehow differently...
Finally, let us take a look at the conventional power plant park in Germany. Even though individual coal-fired power plants were shut down during the storms, an inflexible base continues to run stubbornly unimpressed by high wind generation. This is not necessarily due to technical restrictions. Often there is simply a lack of incentives to act flexibly on the markets and thus to produce in a systemically useful way. The fact that fossil power plants do not leave the market may also be due to the fact that they provide must-run capacities for the balancing energy market. Alternatives that are more advantageous are also available in this area, which are not yet used sufficiently: Flexible RE plants and the electricity storage and conversion facilities mentioned above are ideal players for grid stabilization and can provide low-emission control energy.
The energy transition has already come quite far in Germany. Now we need a tailwind from the political sector: to get the expansion of wind power going again, to create a suitable grid infrastructure and to make use of the flexibility potential that is still untapped.
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With the rise of renewables all over the world, we are facing a gigantic transformation of the global energy system. The Virtual Power Plant answers the demands of the decentralized energy world and opens up new business prospects for its participants and, of course, RES aggregators. We help you utilize them in the best possible way.