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Fraun­hofer study: New elec­tric­i­ty mar­ket design finances the ener­gy turn­around and secures supply

In order to achieve the cli­mate tar­gets, the new Ger­man gov­ern­ment has stip­u­lat­ed in its coali­tion agree­ment that renew­able ener­gies should account for 80 per­cent of gross elec­tric­i­ty demand in 2030. The sys­tem, which has been geared to fos­sil fuels up to now, must there­fore increas­ing­ly adapt to renew­able ener­gies — espe­cial­ly to high vol­umes from fluc­tu­at­ing sources such as the sun and wind. Although these reduce the price of elec­tric­i­ty on the stock exchange, there is no eco­nom­ic basis and thus no basis for the fur­ther expan­sion of renew­able ener­gies. In addi­tion to remov­ing mar­ket bar­ri­ers to the expan­sion of renew­ables, a key lever is incen­tives to make elec­tric­i­ty sup­ply and demand more flex­i­ble. In addi­tion to eco­nom­ic aspects, the study also con­sid­ered busi­ness aspects for the gen­er­a­tion of renew­able ener­gies as well as the required flex­i­bil­i­ty options in the con­sumer, stor­age and gen­er­a­tor sec­tors. As a result, it shows that the ener­gy turn­around in the elec­tric­i­ty sec­tor can be organ­ised pre­dom­i­nant­ly by using region­al val­ue cre­ation potentials.

“One of the spe­cial fea­tures of the study is the analy­sis of a busi­ness case for renew­ables and the flex­i­bil­i­ty options need­ed for the ener­gy sys­tem of the future. It rep­re­sents an impor­tant path to the imple­men­ta­tion of cli­mate neu­tral­i­ty, which at the same time can sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce the depen­dence on imports of ener­gy raw mate­ri­als and elec­tric­i­ty and also ful­fils the require­ments of secu­ri­ty of sup­ply and secur­ing the loca­tion through pre­dom­i­nant­ly domes­tic val­ue cre­ation. A secure ener­gy sup­ply is guar­an­teed at all times — even in the event of an ear­ly coal phase-out by 2030. We are already pro­vid­ing a com­pre­hen­sive pro­pos­al for the Cli­mate Neu­tral Elec­tric­i­ty Sys­tem plat­form planned by the new Ger­man gov­ern­ment. The study was accom­pa­nied by an inten­sive dis­course with asso­ci­a­tions, renew­able ener­gy com­pa­nies, grid oper­a­tors and elec­tric­i­ty traders. At the same time, their sub­mis­sion under­lines that the renew­able sec­tors now want to take respon­si­bil­i­ty for the over­all sys­tem,” said BEE Pres­i­dent Dr. Simone Peter.

“The study mod­els the com­plex rela­tion­ships between very high wind and pho­to­volta­ic out­put, invest­ments in flex­i­bil­i­ty options, elec­tric­i­ty pric­ing and elec­tric­i­ty grids. For this, a per­ma­nent reflec­tion with the var­i­ous experts in the par­tic­i­pat­ing insti­tutes as well as via numer­ous work­shops with the BEE and the renew­able indus­try was essen­tial. The study eval­u­ates how the chal­lenges of the extreme­ly high expan­sion dynam­ics of renew­able ener­gies demand­ed in the coali­tion agree­ment can be solved and address­es in par­tic­u­lar the points of mar­ket design and tar­get pow­er grid”, says Nor­man Ger­hardt, group leader ener­gy eco­nom­ics and sys­tem analy­sis of the Fraun­hofer IEE in Kassel.

A team from Fraun­hofer ISE shed light on the role of end con­sumers: “On the one hand, their flex­i­bil­i­ty must sup­port the inte­gra­tion of fluc­tu­at­ing renew­able ener­gies, but at the same time this flex­i­bil­i­ty must also be attrac­tive for end con­sumers. We have shown how the reform pro­pos­als affect the end con­sumer and his poten­tial flex­i­bil­i­ty pro­vi­sion,” explains Dr. Jes­si­ca Thom­sen, Team Leader Ener­gy Sup­ply and Mar­kets at Fraun­hofer ISE.

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