Sustainability Report 2016

Cooperation and Networks

Together we are strong: 50Hertz has been cooperating for many years with various participants from the field of renewable energies, climate and environmental protection, and harmonisation of the European electricity market. During the 2016 reporting period, we spent roughly EUR 3 million on research and development efforts. This was offset by EUR 0.3 million we received as public, non-repayable subsidies.

Together with various European environmental associations and other transmission system operators, we have founded the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI), which supports grid expansion for the effective integration of renewables across Europe.


Sustainable Development of European Grid Infrastructure

The Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI), founded in 2009, is a Europe-wide exchange and dialogue platform for transmission grid operators and non-governmental organisations. The initiative is the only one of its kind worldwide, supporting the effective integration of renewable energies into the power grid and working toward sustainable development of the European grid structures. It fosters early exchanges between transmission grid operators and environmental associations, local authorities, institutions and citizens, improves local understanding of projects and accelerates approval procedures whenever possible. Under the guidance of RGI, this was tested successfully as part of the EU-subsidised BESTGRID project in five pilot projects. 50Hertz was involved through the 380 kV overhead line grid expansion project Bertikow-Pasewalk.

Joint Projects and Exchange regarding the Energy Transition

Beyond this, we have cooperated closely with the distribution system operators in our control area since 2014. Due to the already high penetra-tion of the control area by decentralized power generation systems, in particular renewables, new approaches to system and grid control are needed. We have formulated necessary developments in the system services sectors in a ten-point programme and are working on pilot solutions in joint project groups.

After two years of preparation, December 2016 marked the start of the joint project WindNODE, which we co-founded and is now being implemented under our consortium leadership. Around 50 project partners in the northern German model region will be working for four years on common solutions for integrating even larger amounts of renewables into the power system as efficiently as possible. The list of participants includes energy supply companies, distribution system operators and high-tech specialists, but also companies from the automotive industry, the supply and disposal sector, housing and retail enterprises, as well as universities and research institutions in the region. WindNODE encompasses all six east German states including Berlin and is under the auspices of the six state premiers and the mayor of Berlin. Even today, the region is the nationwide pioneer for the integration of volatile renewable energies – mathematically, nearly half of the in-fed energy already comes from clean energy resources. The companies Siemens and Stromnetz Berlin, as well as economic development agencies Berlin Partner, Energy Saxony and ZukunftsAgentur Brandenburg join 50Hertz in the strategic control of WindNODE.

WindNODE - the northeastern German model region for smart energy

WindNODE is part of the support programme “Schaufenster intelligente Energie – Digitale Agenda für die Energiewende” or SINTEG (Showcase Intelligent Energy – Digital Agenda for the energy transition) of the Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy. The goal is to develop and demonstrate scalable model solutions for environmentally friendly, safe and affordable energy supply with high proportions of renewables in large area “showcase regions”.

The effort focuses on intelligent digital and process-related linking of production and consumption and the use of innovative grid technologies and operation concepts. The generated solutions are to serve as models for large-scale implementation. The Federal Ministry for Economy is subsidising the five showcases with over EUR 200 million. Together with the additional investments from companies, the total investment comes to more than EUR 500 million. SINTEG is an important contribution to the digitalisation of the energy transition. Over 200 companies and other participants, for instance from the scientific community, are participating in the SINTEG showcases.
In the context of the advancing energy transition, digitalisation is gaining ever greater importance and becoming a crucial success factor. During the 9th System Security Conference, which 50Hertz hosted on 5 and 6 September 2016 in Erfurt, the topic was discussed in depth by over 165 experts. The interdisciplinary participants were representatives of distribution system operators, energy producers, associations, politics and science.

In November 2016, we held the eighth annual EEG Conference in Berlin. Around 200 participants discussed the changes in relevant energy legis-lation and current trends and challenges in the expansion and integration of renewable energies into the grid. This was the first time the EEG Con-ference, which was attended by representatives of transmission and distribution system operators, the Federal Grid Agency, and electricity sales and trading companies, took place on our premises in the new 50Hertz Netzquartier building.


50Hertz is cooperative partner of:

Find the complete list of partners here: Find the complete list of partners here:

Scientific Council and University Cooperations

We have established a scientific council for the purpose of regular exchanges between science and practice. The volunteer committee currently consists of 16 professors from the fields of energy technology, economy, law and politics. The council meets once or twice a year to discuss and assess current topics and future issues relevant to 50Hertz. An important aspect of its work is the initiation and execution of joint research and development projects and studies, as well as the supervision of dissertations, bachelorʼs and masterʼs theses

Beyond this, we have worked with a number of universities in our control area for many years. Our scientific partners include Dresden Technical University, Ilmenau Technical University, Otto-von-Guericke-University in Magdeburg, and Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Brandenburg Tech-nical University in Cottbus, and Berlin University of Applied Sciences.

The topics of our joint research deal with, for instance, the voltage quality of extra-high-voltage grids, the operation of three-phase current and direct current on one pylon, the determination of critical conditions in the 50Hertz grid, or the implications of the energy transition for the econ-omy, politics and society. In addition, we are active at the universities and research institutions by regularly giving practice-oriented lectures, talks and workshops..
University collaborations at 50Hertz University collaborations at 50Hertz