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Study confirms: Expansion of renewable energies can be accelerated by grid optimisation

Study confirms: Expansion of renewable energies can be accelerated by grid optimisation
  • Innovative grid optimisation measures geared towards improving the utilisation of existing grids are technically ready for use and could be implemented promptly
  • The combined use of online assistance systems for operational management also offers enormous potential
  • Coupling the expansion of renewable energies to the construction of new power lines is no longer necessary, at least until 2025.
  • From a legal point of view, the technologies could also be implemented at short notice.

A new study by WP&More Consulting and the law firm GGSC shows that the expansion of renewable energy sources in Germany does not have to be slowed down because of delayed grid expansion. “The study shows innovative grid optimisation measures for a better utilisation of existing grids. Grid operators should press ahead with the use of these technologies. The expansion of renewable energies will then no longer have to be slowed down,” said Dr Knud Rehfeldt, Chairman of the OFFSHORE-WINDENERGIE foundation today in Berlin. “The Federal Government has to accelerate the expansion of renewable energies now, and insist on realising the existing optimisation potential in the grid. The technology is already there.”

The OFFSHORE-WINDENERGIE foundation commissioned the study together with other industry organisations.

“In addition to the advantages of an increased use of overhead line monitoring and phase-shifting transformers, the analysis shows in particular that the combination of these techniques with an online assistance system to support grid operations management still holds enormous potential for optimisation,” according to the industry organisations.

The measures described in the study are technically tried and tested, could be implemented promptly and offer enormous short-term cost savings in redispatch and feed-in management. This applies in particular to the semi-automatic online assistance systems, which are already being used in comparable transmission networks both in Europe and worldwide. Transmission network operators should therefore implement their announced investments in existing networks nationwide and do this as quickly as possible.

Last year, renewable energy sources accounted for around 38 percent of the gross electricity consumption in Germany. Some 350,000 jobs have been created in the industry. According to current figures provided by the Federal Government, both the economic stimulus from plant operation and investment in new plants increased in 2017, to 16.2 billion euros each. Nevertheless, the Federal Government has recently slowed down further expansion significantly and explained this in particular with a lack of grid expansion and supposedly jeopardised grid stability.

 In order to achieve the German government's 2030 climate target of 65 percent of the electricity share to be accounted for by renewables, a much stronger expansion of renewables is necessary. The system stability of the grid will not be jeopardised by the accelerated expansion of renewable energy sources using the optimisation measures described in the study.

The study was initiated and commissioned by the OFFSHORE-WINDENERGIE foundation. Co-orderers were: Bundesverband Windenergie e.V., Bundesverband der Windparkbetreiber Offshore e.V., Erneuerbare Energien Hamburg Clusteragentur GmbH, VDMA Power Systems, Wirtschaftsverband Windkraftwerke e.V.

Über die Autorin

Profilbild zu: Astrid Dose

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