Market processes are intended to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory provisions by designing and determining standard processes and data formats. They enable a standardised and automated exchange of big data, contribute to discrimination-free market access for all market players and form the basis for the settlement and balancing of energy volumes on the German energy market.
The role model for market communication was jointly developed by European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E), ebIX (European platform in which TSO’s, DSO’s, suppliers and regulators work together )and European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET) at the EU level with the aim of facilitating communication between the market partners of the energy industry within the framework of electronic data exchange. Roles, areas and objects that are typically used in communications of the energy market and their relationships with each other are described in a role model.
50Hertz executes the market roles defined in the role model for the balancing group coordinator and transmission system operator (TSO). This is for the entire grid area and the market roles for system operators (SO) and for grid customers directly connected to the 50Hertz grid. In addition, 50Hertz is the basic metering point operator and undertakes the market roles of supplier and balance responsible party (BRP) for overall grid management.
As part of its special responsibility for grid stability and supply security, 50Hertz uses balancing energy to maintain an equilibrium of energy surpluses or deficits between balancing groups. This energy exchange is necessary because of the difference between forecasts and the actual demand in the 50Hertz grid area in order to keep the grid frequency stable.
In its function of transmission system operator, 50Hertz acts as balancing group coordinator. It is the responsibility of the balancing group coordinator of a grid area to compensate financial and energy differences between all market participants.In the course of implementing the Act on the Digitisation of the Energy Transition, the market role of transmission system operator (TSO) was newly created: it is the responsible party for the balancing-relevant aggregation of energy volumes from smart metering systems (intelligenten Messsystemen; iMSys) in the grid area.
The basis for the defined market processes is formed by the following regulations laid down by the Federal Network Agency.
The Federal Network Agency has laid down the market rules to be followed for the balancing group settlement for electricity in the ‘market rules for the balancing group settlement for electricity’ (MaBiS). The MaBiS rules regulate the exchange of the master data and dynamic data relevant for accounting and the corresponding deadlines to be met.
Market rules for the balancing group settlement for electricit (German)
The ‘market processes for generating market locations (electricity)’ (MPES) regulate the execution of the market processes for energy producers in the electricity sector. The regulation defines the processes for data exchange between the market roles of system operator (SO) and supplier that are required for the generating units. The basis for this is formed by the regulations of the ‘business processes for supplying customers with electricity’.
The Federal Network Agency first published regulations on the ‘market processes for feed-in locations (electricity)’,, in its decision BK6-12-153. These were amended in decision BK6-16-200 and simultaneously renamed ‘market processes for generating market locations (electricity)’. Exact information as well as the registration and de-registration form can be found here:
Regulations for generating market locations (electricity) (German)
National standard registration and de-registration form (German)
Registration and de-registration form for 50Hertz (German)
Please send the completed form to the following e-mail address: Wechsel-Einspeiser@50hertz.com.
With its ‘business processes for supplying customers with electricity’ (Geschäftsprozesse zur Kundenbelieferung mit Elektrizität; GPKE), the Federal Network Agency created a uniform regulatory framework for supplying customers with electricity. These regulations lower the threshold for market access and define standard processes for all market players concerned.
Regulations for business processes and data formats (German)
The ‘exchange processes in the field of metering’ (Wechselprozesse im Messwesen; WiM) define standard provisions for the execution of market and data exchange processes in connection with the performance of metering point operation and measurement for grid-based electricity supply.
Regulations for exchange processes in the field of metering (German)
More information on market communication here.
50Hertz constantly works to create the conditions for a sustainable energy market in order to push ahead with the digitisation of the energy transition.
The Act on the Digitisation of the Energy Transition, which came into force in September 2016, defines the rollout of smart meter systems in Germany as well as the access and use of data from these metering systems.
Among other things, the Act contains the Metering Point Operation Act which regulates metering point operation and data communication of smart meter systems. The communication concept is a star-shaped distribution of the data (so-called ‘star-shaped communication’). This means that in the future the data will be transmitted directly from smart meters to authorised market participants via a gateway. All in all, the modernised metering equipment enables more safer communication and more variable tariffs for consumers.
The decision of the Federal Network Agency (BK6-16-200) of 20/12/2016 prescribes the amendment of the provisions for electronic market communication (interim model) for the Metering Point Operation Act.
This interim model is used to integrate smart meters and modern metering equipment in the existing market processes for application as of 2017. The interim model for instance provides for the star-shaped transmission of the measured data of renewable energy installations to the transmission system operator.
Number of balancing groups in the 50Hertz grid area(as of 01/01/2020):1.977
The grid areas are subdivided into balance responsible perimeters or balancing groups. Balancing groups are virtual energy volume accounts that link the electricity market (virtual world) with the energy flow in the electricity grids (physical world). They allow electricity market players to balance their actual feed-in and consumption within a grid area.
The management of the balancing groups is the responsibility of the Balance Responsible Parties (BRP). They undertake to maintain the balance of their balancing group by means of physical generation and consumption as well as the virtual energy flow between balancing groups (commercial transactions). To ensure good management, balance responsible parties have to present their forecasts for generation and consumption to the TSO in the form a schedule. The differences between the feed-in based on the consumption forecast inside the balancing group and the actual consumption by the customers from the balancing group are compensated with balancing energy by 50Hertz. 50Hertz settles the balancing energy used by the balance responsible party each month in accordance with the rules set up by the Federal Network Agency (MaBiS - market rules for balancing group settlement for electricity).The contractual framework for the management of balancing groups is provided by the standard balance responsible contract published by the Federal Network Agency.
More information under Balancing Group Customers.
Grid areas are geographically defined areas in which respectively one transmission system operator is active. This TSO has the responsibility to independently balance fluctuations in the electricity grid through the use of balancing energy within this area and assumes responsibility for the secure and reliable operation of the grid. Moreover, each TSO provides ancillary services in its grid area to ensure the reliability of the electricity supply.
In general, the grid of a distribution system operator (DSO) is one balancing area. Additionally a DSO balancing area can also include several definable metering grids of one DSO (but not of several DSOs!). The balancing coordinator, i.e. the transmission system operator (TSO), issues EIC identifiers for the DSO balancing areas to the DSOs and manages the DSO balancing area structure of a grid area for the plausibility check of the grid balances. In this context, each TSO acts as representative of the national EIC authority for its grid area.
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The balancing areas of the 50Hertz grid area are published by 50Hertz as the balancing coordinator (TSO) with their EIC identification, the allocated DSOs (ILN/BDEW-Code-Nr.) and their scope of validity.
In addition, the German Energy and Water Association (BDEW) provides a merged list of all TSOs:
EIC codes for DSO balancing areas
TSO’s use balancing energy to compensate for unforeseen fluctuations in the electricity grid due to deviations between electricity generation and consumption. The type of balancing energy differs depending on the time at which it must be available. These types are primary control reserve, secondary control reserve or minute (tertiary) reserve. Primary control reserve is available after 15 seconds, secondary control reserve after 30 seconds and the minute reserve after 5 minutes. In order to have sufficient capacity at our disposal at all times, the procurement platform is used to put out to tender the control reserve. Only pre-qualified bidders can participate in the tender.
If necessary, the reserved capacity is activated as balancing energy and billed to the balancing responsible party as balancing energy (balancing group settlement).