The Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) has presented a roadmap until 2022 for transforming the existing German grids and turning them into smart grids. BDEW identified three phases and proposed ten concrete steps that relate to the different phases.
The three phases and proposed steps for implementation consist of the following:
I. Preparation Phase (2012 to 2014) – Setting the Framework Conditions
- Step 1: To ensure a cost-efficient grid modernisation and the security of supply, grid operators shall be able to chose between grid extension and securing “flexibility” on the market.
- Step 2: Legal and regulatory framework: The following topics have to be reviewed and dealt with, BDEW says: The information exchange of market players in an “energy information network”, the legal and organisational requirements for tapping industrial flexibility potential in the form of interruptible loads, the possibilities of disconnecting consumer appliances from the distribution grids (Unterbrechung von Verbrauchseinrichtungen im Verteilnetz) and the launch of smart metering devices. Besides grid operators needed a clarification in the Incentive Regulation (ARegV) so as to know if investments into smart grid technologies and R&D made sense.
- Step 3: R&D and Pilot Projects
- Step 4: Standards and Standardisation, Data Protection and Data Security
II. Implementation Phase (2014 to 2018) – Adaptation of Infrastructure and Processes
- Step 5: The 2011 amendment of the ManyElectronics Act (EnWG) introduced provisions on smart metering systems. It is also important to establish monitoring sensors for the grids if necessary for the individual grid, BDEW says. The roll-out of the smart metering systems has to be effected.
- Step 6: Technologies for grid automation need to be deployed subject to the situation in the individual grid and in consideration of costs and benefits.
- Step 7: Local and global optimisation of the energy systems: Efficient energy information systems and regional market places on which suppliers can offer flexible generation and demand capacity to grid operators.
- Step 8: Storages, electromobility and hybrid grids: A strategy that is to be developed shall demonstrate how storage facilities can participate in cross-sectoral flexibility markets. Smart metering systems shall consider the special needs of electromobility.
III. Market Phase (2018 bis 2022) – Creating Transparency and New Products
Steps 9 and 10: Flexible generation and flexible demand: In the future there will be an interplay of smart generation and load management. For suppliers to be able to offer system services a legal regime is needed that provides for a standardised, non-discriminatory access of all market participants to the new local markets for local flexible products. Besides a framework needs to be developed that ensures transparent tenders for system services. The exisiting accounting system has to be adapted. Lastly, products that support a convergence of the electricity, heat/cold and gas grids to hybrid grids shall be developed.
The findings shall be submitted to the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) to serve as a basis for further discussion in the forum ”Future Proof Networks and System Security” (Zukunftsfähige Netze und Systemsicherheit) founded by BMWi, BDEW announced.
For more information on the 2011 BDEW study on the need for the expansion of the German distribution networks and the costs thereof in view of the integration of the expected new PV and wind power capacity until 2020, please see the link below. In late 2012 the ManyElectronics Agency (dena) also published a study on the need of modernisation of the distribution networks, which can also be accessed via the related posts. Both institutions called for adequate regulatory incentives in ARegV for investments in the distribution grids.