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Flexibility through electricity storage

The more renewable energy is used, the more flexible the overall system needs to be. Electricity storage systems are an important option in this case. They allow supply and demand to be equalised — also in combination with 

demand side management (DSM) — and system stability to be increased. Hence, they make a significant contribution to the security of supply and cost efficiency.

Integrating renewable energy sources – Ensuring the security of supply

Energy storage systems

The increasing percentage of electricity from fluctuating renewable energy sources means that the overall system needs to be made more flexible. Storage facilities and innovative concepts such as demand side management can help achieve this goal.

By the year 2030, the Federal Government plans to increase the percentage of renewable energy (RE) to at least 50 percent, and by the year 2050 to at least 80 percent. Integrating increasing quantities of electricity from renewable energy sources into the electricity market and electricity grid will pose new challenges for the  further development of the electric power system as well as the technologies used. This is because system stability and cost efficiency must continue to be ensured.

Security of supply thanks to electricity storage

In addition to the expansion of the electricity grids, storage facilities will also play a key role in the energy transition. This is because they are able to compensate for fluctuations in the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources. When photovoltaics and wind energy installations are combined with storage facilities, non-integratable electricity can be stored and is available when needed. This means that electricity storage units are able to

  • equalise supply and demand,
  • provide numerous ancillary services (e.g. reserve energy and reactive energy) which maintain system stability
  • increase added value domestically, as non-integratable quantities of electricity do not need to be exported, and 
  • promote the integration of electricity from renewable sources into the market.

    Innovative energy storage technology

    Converting electricity from renewable energy sources into other forms of energy — innovative storage technologies make this possible. These technologies make it possible to store wind and solar energy long-term and to use them in other sectors of consumption, e.g. transportation and heating. One particularly promising application is Power to Gas, a technology that converts electricity from renewable sources into hydrogen or methane gas.

    Demand side management creates flexibility

    Demand side management (DSM) can also contribute to increasing the flexibility of an electric power system with a high percentage of renewable energy sources. With DSM, companies can manage the energy quantity and the point in time energy is consumed in a targeted fashion by varying the electricity consumed by certain processes, e.g. in mills, furnaces, or pumps. The flexible electricity loads can be marketed e.g. on the electricity market or as an ancillary service.

    dena is currently carrying out the pilot projects “Demand Side Management Baden-Württemberg" and "Demand Side Management Bayern" with the support of the relevant ministries. With these projects, dena is exploring the development and savings potential which can be achieved through DSM in real-world settings.  

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