23 Jul 2019, 13:52
Freja Eriksen

Court annuls price system suspected to be behind recent German grid troubles

Clean Energy Wire

A German court has ruled to revoke the so-called mixed-price system used to set prices on the energy balancing market. The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf’s decision follows a lawsuit by virtual power plant Next Kraftwerke and other market players. Next Kraftwerke CEO Hendrik Sämisch said the mixed-price system has "led to more extreme grid situations", put cleantech solutions at a disadvantage and pushed up the total costs for the balancing energy market, which is meant to guarantee the right amount of electricity supply at all times to keep the grid stable. Sämisch said the court’s decision was “good news for the electricity grid, grid users and the energy transition”. Simone Peter, president of the German Renewable Energy Federation, also welcomed the court’s verdict, saying the mixed-price system was pushing renewable power plants out of the market by “systematically favouring conventional plants”, and increasing costs for consumers. The mixed-price system was introduced in October 2018 but was already expected to be made redundant by an upcoming European regulation on electricity balancing. For now, the German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has announced that the system’s predecessor will be revived. Previous to the ruling, BNetzA had invited market players to a consultation on measures to balance the grid, following suspected power price speculation through the mixed-price system. 

Production of intermittent green power in Germany has risen sharply over the last few years, leading to industry concerns over the security of the power supply. Germany still has one of the most reliable electricity grids in the world.

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