Berlin, 15.10.2018 – More than 140 participants gathered today at the ninth EEG Conference held by transmission system operator 50Hertz in Berlin to discuss this year’s energy policy developments regarding the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) as well as long-term subjects. In addition to the surcharges for 2019 published on the day of the conference (EEG surcharge, offshore grid charge), the topics included the “Digitisation of the Energy Transition”, “Challenges for RES feed-in management” or “renewables surcharge for Batteries and E-mobility”. A central topic was the discussion about the older RES instalations that will no longer receive support as of 2021, after a period of twenty years.
The EEG Conference, attended by representatives of transmission and distribution system operators, authorities and associations as well as electricity producers, marketers and traders, was opened by Dr Dirk Biermann, Chief Markets and System Operations Officer at 50Hertz. He pointed out that the ambitious goals for the growth of renewable energy determined by the government coalition and the planned strengthening of the European energy trade as a result of the European Union’s Clean Energy Package make the expansion of infrastructure even more urgent than it already is: “We therefore welcome the initiative of Federal Minister Peter Altmaier and his recently proposed action plan for the expansion of the power grid by stimulating faster permit procedures. The acceleration of the renewable energy growth towards a share of 65 per cent in the energy consumption by 2030 and the increase of the interconnector capacity between the European countries to 75 per cent by 2025 are sizeable challenges for grid development, on both sides of our national borders. As regards the optimisation of the existing grid, plenty of work still remains to be done, despite all the measures we are implementing, such as overhead line monitoring or the use of high temperature conductors cables.”
In addition to individual speeches and several parallel expert forums, the end of support for older RES units was also broached during a panel discussion between representatives of the transmission and distribution system operators as well as of the direct marketers and installation operators. The basic tenor of the discussion: despite the fact that support for older RES generating units is ending (up to 5000 MW in 2021), the current wholesale prices offer an economic incentive to continue their operation. The participants agreed that larger wind turbines in particular no longer require supplementary funding after twenty years and can maintain their position on the market. For the smallest older units, especially photovoltaicswhich cannot be marketed directly for various reasons, this could be entirely different, creating the need for solutions. The transmission system operators suggested “connection supply” as a possible solution. This ensures that the electricity from the affected units can continue to be allocated to a clear and seamless balancing group.
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50Hertz takes care of the operation and expansion of the transmission network with more than 1000 employees. In addition, the company is responsible for managing the overall electrical system in the federal states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. As a transmission system operator at the heart of Europe, 50Hertz stands for the secure integration of renewable energies, the development of the European electricity market and the maintenance of a high standard of supply security. The shareholders are the Belgian transmission system operator Elia (80 percent) and the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW, 20 percent). As a European transmission system operator, 50Hertz is part of the Elia Group and a member of the European association ENTSO-E.