G4-EUS-DMA Demand-Side Management
„By 2030, 65 percent of the German energy mix will consist of renewable energies. In order to achieve this ambitious political goal, it will be unavoidable to increase the transmission capacities in the networks. Public acceptance of new lines is unlikely to increase, space for large interconnectors is already limited and the impact on the environment is undesirable. It is the task of transmission system operators to reduce the additional demand for overhead lines. This will only be possible through innovations in grid expansion and system management.“
Nadja Ballauf – Head of Corporate Development at 50Hertz
50Hertz is lead coordinator of the WindNODE joint project, in which over 70 project partners in the northeast German model region are working for four years in total 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, grid 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 northeast German states including Berlin and is under the auspices of the six state premiers and the mayor of Berlin. 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. The flexibility platform, an integral part of the project, was trialled in November 2018. This digital purchasing platform enables electricity consumers, electricity producers and storage operators to offer services that are appropriate for the region and flexible in terms of when they are rendered, which ensures that less renewable energy has to be restricted during grid bottlenecks.
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„In 2017 alone, renewables amounting to 641 GWh were cut back in the 50Hertz grid area in order not to overload the grids. With this amount of energy, the city of Berlin could have been completely supplied with electricity for two weeks. This is where the flexibility platform comes in as a central building block: suppliers use the platform to report previously unused regional flexibilities for electricity consumption or generation. Bids for the following day and for the same day are possible. System operators check these bids and use them when grid congestion becomes visible in their calculations.“
Dr. Georg Meyer-Braune – Project Manager WindNode
A scientific council was established for the purpose of regular exchanges between science and practice. The volunteer committee currently consists of 16 professors from the fields of energy technology, energy industry, energy law and energy policy. The council meets once or twice a year to discuss and assess current topics and future issues relevant to 50Hertz. In 2018, both half-yearly meetings focused on the issues “optimisation of existing grids” and “innovative technologies for the energy transition”. 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, bachelor’s and master’s theses. There are also plans to integrate sustainability topics in this dialogue in future.
Cooperation with universities and partners
Beyond this, 50Hertz has worked with a number of universities in the balancing zone for many years. 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 economy, politics and society. In addition, we are active at the universities and research institutions by regularly giving practice-oriented lectures, talks and workshops.
For 50Hertz, active lead management and participation in research and development projects are an integral part of innovation management. In diverse cooperations with academic and industry partners, focus is largely placed on activities in the areas of new technology, energy markets and system security, the integration of renewable energies and the required development of the electrical system. Overall, around EUR 2m (prior year: around EUR 3m) was spent on research and development projects in 2018. This was counterbalanced by EUR 0.15m (prior year: around EUR 0.25m) that 50Hertz received in public non-repayable subsidies.
Together with various European environmental associations and other transmission system operators, 50Hertz has founded the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI), which supports grid expansion for the effective integration of renewable energies across Europe, driving forward the dissemination of innovative consultation practices in the process (for further information see "Memberships").
One longer-term project concerns higher utilisation of the existing grid through high-temperature low sag conductors (HTLS). Convential overhead lines heat up. The more electricity flowing through the lines, the hotter they get and this can lead to lines sagging. If they sag too much, we are not allowed to operate them. To combat this problem, Elia and 50Hertz are aiming to introduce new conductors, which can cope with a higher flow of electricity. Eight new conductors have been developed by different producers and have been put through a one-year, rigorous testing period. Twenty years of operations were simulated in just a year. We will now decide which high temperature conductors are suitable for future projects.
„In line with the European ‘Best Paths’ research project, which ended in 2018, Elia and 50Hertz jointly investigated hightemperature low sag (HTLS) conductors for overhead lines by technical research (50Hertz) and on-site demonstration (Elia). There has been a great deal of international interest. This project is a real success story and shows what Elia and 50Hertz can achieve when they join forces.“
Wilhelm Kiewitt – Specialist Corporate Development at 50Hertz
GRI 102-12, GRI 102-13, SDG17
50Hertz is involved in various societies, associations, and initiatives in the field of renewable energies, climate and environmental protection, human rights and harmonisation of the European electricity market.