Regulators and research agree: More large battery storage systems must be built

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As early as 2021, as part of the study "Paths to a Climate-Neutral Energy System," the Fraunhofer Institute ISE has increased the expansion of almost 200 times for Short-term memory forecasted from 2021 to 2030 to prepare the nationwide power grid for the energy revolution.

Regulators are now also committed to this assessment of the research as part of the latest scenario framework for the network development plan published every 2 years. This is prepared in cooperation with the transmission system operators, responsible for the nationwide transport of electricity over long distances, and the Federal Network Agency, the national regulatory authority for the power grid. The grid development plan defines the necessary measures, which are necessary now and in the near future to prepare the power grid for volatile renewable energy producers. The scenario framework provides the necessary figures for this.

Large-scale battery storage has already been included in the 2021 network development plan, but with a fairly conservative expansion expectation of 3.4 GW by 2035. However, in the scenario framework for the 2023 network development plan that has now been published, these forecasts have been increased by 7 times to 24.2 GW by 2037 and are now similar to the figures from the Fraunhofer Institute.

As a result, regulators have now also recognized the need for the broad expansion of large battery storage systems, which is essential to effectively compensate for the increased generation volatility caused by the massive increase in the share of renewables.

Why was the forecast raised so much?

In the current network development plan, the assumption of how large battery storage systems can be used has been adjusted. Instead of using the memory only on the provision of control energy To restrict, active participation in the electricity market was also included in the current plan. With this assumption, actual use is much more realistic, as modern large battery storage systems (see focus on a multi-use strategy and not just on the control energy market.

The consequences of the forecast

The regulatory authority's assumptions have therefore now converged with scientific assumptions. The next step, however, is to answer how the BNetzA intends to make these forecasts a reality, i.e. how storage should be integrated into the network.
In accordance with the current Federal Network Agency regulations, storage systems are regarded as purely market-serving and therefore, from a regulatory perspective, as clearly network-loading and not serving the grid, although they meet the technical requirements to make a major contribution to grid stability.
If storage systems remain a burden on networks from a regulatory perspective, the forecasts, which the BNetzA itself has now confirmed, will never be able to be implemented in reality. In order to ensure rapid and large-scale storage expansion and thus achieve the goals it has set itself, the BNetzA must act now:
The requirements for network-friendly use of storage systems must be clarified. Network operators will then also be certain that a large-scale expansion of storage will not result in network expansion but, on the contrary, can avoid nonsensical network expansion "down to the last kWh." This would enable many gigawatts of storage systems to be connected to the grid and an important milestone on the way to an energy system with 80% renewables in 2030 would be achieved.

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