2. November 2021 By Lars Zimmermann and Stephen Lorenzen
Redispatch 2.0 – energy transition leads to new power plant deployment planning
The increase in the share of renewable energies in electricity production, the changes in consumer behaviour associated with digitalisation and the transformation in power plant infrastructure make new power plant deployment planning necessary in Germany. However, as the energy system has not yet been adapted to these changes, the so-called Redispatch 2.0 mechanism is being introduced.
What actually is a redispatch?
A redispatch is the replanning of the use of power plants in the event of power grid fluctuations. It involves a power plant operator proactively and purposefully postponing its planned electricity production in order to avoid grid bottlenecks and keep the power grid on the German electricity market stable.
Before 1 October 2021, redispatches were only carried out by plants that had a capacity greater than or equal to ten megawatts. Redispatch 2.0, which was introduced on 1 October 2021, has changed this. From now on, plants with a capacity of 100 kilowatts or more must also participate in redispatches.
Why are redispatches necessary?
The ‘Netzausbaubeschleunigungsgesetz Übertragungsnetz’ (NABEG) (Grid Expansion Acceleration Act Transmission Grid) amendment came into force on 17 May 2019. The main purpose of the legal changes is to simplify and accelerate the approval procedures for newly constructing as well as reinforcing and optimising the power lines that are required as part of the energy transition. The old system included inflexible and large power plants plus consumption that could be standardised. The current system contrasts with this. In Germany, more than 50 per cent of electricity is already generated from renewable energies in some months. Digitalisation, a greater proportion of people working at home and a larger number of electronic devices have also made consumption behaviour volatile. There are more and more flexible feeders, storage options and consumers. However, the energy system has not yet been adapted to these changes. This is why Redispatch 2.0 has been implemented.
The changes in detail
One of the most important adjustments is that distribution system operators (DSOs) are now being made more responsible. From 1 October 2021, they are responsible for curtailing the output of a plant when there is an oversupply. The DSOs collect network data so that they are in a position to be able to trigger a readjustment. If a curtailment is required, the DSOs then pay financial compensation to the plant operators.
A change in the redispatch merit order (order in which plants are shut down) is also necessary. At least ten times as many conservative plants need to be affected by bottlenecks before renewable energy plants are allowed to be shut down. This means that renewable energy plants are considered to be ten times more efficient than conservative plants. For CHP plants, a factor of five is specified here (minimum factor definition). Each DSO must implement these rules and the resulting order from 1 October 2021.
In conclusion, it remains to be said that Redispatch 2.0 leads to redeployment planning of both renewable energy plants as well as small-scale plants (taking into account the feed-in priority). This change is necessary due to the transformation of the German electricity market.
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