The percentage of wind energy and solar power fed into the German electricity grids is rising continuously. But these kinds of energy are volatile, which means they are dependent on the weather, and that their availability cannot be reliably guaranteed. This means that we will need greater flexibility in future, for instance in storage facilities. Their purpose will be to ensure that a part of the energy produced during peak times is ‘put aside’ for use as a reserve during more meagre periods. Use of these storage facilities remains a problematic issue. Not all of them are sufficiently mature for the market. Moreover, the use of storage facilities without consideration of the technical limitations of the electricity grids can lead to overloads. So it may even be necessary to expand the grids.
Within the Grid Flex study for grids and markets, dena is examining the ideal operating strategies to improve the use of energy storage units. This involves the variable, temporary deployment of battery storage facilities in a variety of application scenarios that serve the interests of the grids and the markets. For this purpose, typical grid situations with alternating weather conditions over the course of the day that are intended to model the challenges facing the energy market in Germany are being analysed. To implement the study, dena is collaborating with experienced partners – grid operators, energy providers, plant manufacturers and storage solution providers.
The results of the dena Grid Flex study aims to contribute to the flexible and economic use of energy storage units. This will provide effective means to counteract the volatility of wind energy and solar power, and their growing share in the energy mix can be absorbed by Germany’s current electricity system without causing compatibility problems. These optimisation measures will contribute decisively to improving grid stability. The storage facilities will become a valuable alternative to the grid expansion that would otherwise be necessary on a significantly larger scale, provided they continued to operate smoothly in future.