Costs of stabilising German power grid fall again in 2019
Clean Energy Wire
Costs of stabilising the German power grid decreased again in 2019 to 1.2 billion euros compared to 1.4 billion euros the previous year, show preliminary data from the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA). 2.8 percent of all renewable power generated was curbed and 709.5 million euros had to be paid to renewable operators in compensation for this, said the agency. Onshore wind power plants in particular could not feed all of their generated electricity into the German power grid due to risks of grid overload, accounting for 78 percent of curbed electricity. Offshore wind accounted for 18 percent. The so-called re-dispatch measures necessary to stabilise the grid when electricity cannot flow freely due to network constraints cost 291.9 million euros – about 38 percent less than the year before. Countertrade between bidding zones to relieve grid congestion more than doubled in 2019, mainly due to a bilateral agreement between Germany and Denmark.
The total cost of grid and system security measures – which German electricity consumers ultimately pay – peaked in 2017 with around 1.5 billion euros due to lagging grid expansion, a Europe-wide cold spell and a record feed-in of wind power. Rising re-dispatch costs for grid stabilisation have become a point of concern in a German power system increasingly based on fluctuating renewable energy sources. With a "grid expansion acceleration act" passed in 2019 Germany wants to make sure that necessary lines are completed by 2025 to reduce costly stabilisation procedures due to grid blockages.