Balancing energy and balancing group coordination
The always necessary balance between generation and consumption in our grid is ensured by using balancing energy. Some background on that: market participants (balance responsible parties) must forecast that they will have a buyer for the quantity of electricity they have generated or purchased at any time. Regarding this100 per cent accuracy is simply not achievable, as we permanently see different cases of deviations: e.g. if consumption is higher, we buy additional energy - balancing energy - across Europe in an optimized manner. If consumption is lower, we have to sell energy. This requires the help of third parties: We have prequalified suppliers which can provide positive or negative balancing energy in our grid area; today, wind turbines or batteries, etc. are already able to do so. In order to balance these deviations more efficiently, European balancing energy platforms are currently being built with 50Hertz actively involved.
We settle the forecast deviations with each market participant (balance responsible party). This settlement is called balancing group coordination, which is part of the market processes.
Renewable energy and sector coupling
50Hertz is front runner when it comes to integration of electricity from renewable energy sources (RES). Like other German transmission system operators, 50Hertz is also active on the electricity market: we sell the share of renewable energy on the stock exchange that could not directly be marketed. The renewable energy producers receive a guaranteed tariff that is legally prescribed by the German Renewables Act (EEG) and charged from all consumers as the EEG surcharge.
Additionally, 50Hertz performs tasks to advance combined heat and power generation. The so-called sector coupling keeps gaining importance, which involves the conversion of different types of energy into other types. In addition to Power-to-Heat, this also includes Power-to-Gas. Sector coupling can make an important contribution to enabling an even higher share of renewable energy in the system by temporarily storing electricity as other forms of energy.