Who is the Federal Network Agency?
The Federal Network Agency, or BNetzA for short, is a central and independent infrastructure authority in Germany that was founded in 2005. It is divided into the following areas of responsibility: electricity, gas, telecommunications, postal services and railroads, and has its headquarters in Bonn. The authority's objective is to maintain as well as promote and ensure fair and non-discriminatory competition. It works closely with the European Commission and other national regulatory authorities and, among other things, transposes EU law into national law.
What are the tasks of the Federal Network Agency, especially with regard to electricity supply?
In the areas of responsibility of electricity, gas, telecommunications, postal services and railroads, the Federal Network Agency is responsible for safeguarding competition.
With the revision of the Energy Industry Act in 2005, which also included Europe's Acceleration Directive for electricity and gas and more competition in the energy market, the BNetzA was given extensive powers for the electricity and gas markets in Germany and thus vis-à-vis the energy industry. Since then, it has also been involved in regulating and monitoring the energy sector in Germany. In the area of electricity supply, the Federal Network Agency has the following tasks:
- Grid charges: The Federal Network Agency sets the level of grid charges levied by electricity suppliers for transporting electricity along transmission and distribution grids.
- Grid connection: The Federal Network Agency monitors the grid connection of electricity generators, consumers and storage facilities to the transmission and distribution grid.
- Grid integration of renewable energies: The Federal Network Agency supports the integration of electricity from renewable energies into the grid and implements the promotion of renewable energies.
- Grid security: The Federal Network Agency ensures a secure and reliable power supply and monitors compliance with security standards.
- Grid capacity: The Federal Network Agency ensures that the power grid has sufficient capacity and plans to expand the grids when necessary.
- Grid expansion: The Federal Network Agency plans and coordinates the expansion of the electricity grid and promotes grid modernization.
What is the BNetzA's scenario framework and how is battery storage taken into account here?
The Federal Network Agency's scenario framework is an important tool for analyzing the development of the electricity system in Germany and supporting network development planning. The scenario framework describes various possible scenarios for the future development of the electricity system, based on different assumptions about the future development of energy policy, technological developments and economic conditions.
Battery storage is considered in the scenarios of the Federal Network Agency as an important technology for the integration of renewable energies into the power system, as it helps to smooth the variable generation volumes from renewable energies and thus increase the stability of the power grid. Battery storage is also considered as a way to store excess generation capacity and feed it back into the grid as needed to improve grid stability and reduce transmission and distribution grid expansion.
Overall, the use of battery storage plays an important role in the integration of renewable energies and in improving grid stability in the scenarios of the Federal Network Agency. It is expected that the use of battery storage will continue to increase in the coming years in order to drive forward the energy transition in Germany. For example, in the most recently published scenario framework for 2023, the BNetzA increased forecasts for the expansion of battery storage in Germany by a factor of 7 to 24.2 GW by 2037.