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Control Power and Variable Renewables A Glimpse at German Data

Author

Listed:
  • Lion Hirth

    (Vattenfall GmbH, Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research)

  • Inka Ziegenhagen

    (Vattenfall GmbH, University of Leipzig)

Abstract

Control power (regulating power, balancing power) is used to quickly restore the supply-demand balance in power systems. Variable renewable energy sources (VRE) such as wind and solar power are often thought to increase the reserve requirement significantly. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of balancing systems in Europe, discusses the role of VRE, and presents empirical market data from Germany. Despite German VRE capacity doubled during the last five years and has surpassed 70% of peak load, contracted control power decreased by 20%, and procurement cost fell by 50%. Today, control power adds only 0.4% to household electricity prices. Nevertheless, we identify several sources of inefficiency in control power markets and imbalance settlement systems and propose a number of policy changes to stimulate the participation of VRE in control provision and to improve the incentives to forecast accurately.

Suggested Citation

  • Lion Hirth & Inka Ziegenhagen, 2013. "Control Power and Variable Renewables A Glimpse at German Data," Working Papers 2013.46, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2013.46
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Müller, Gernot & Rammerstorfer, Margarethe, 2008. "A theoretical analysis of procurement auctions for tertiary control in Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 2620-2627, July.
    2. Justus Haucap, Ulrich Heimeshoff, and Dragan Jovanovic, 2014. "Competition in Germany's Minute Reserve Power Market: An Econometric Analysis," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    3. Kristiansen, Tarjei, 2007. "The Nordic approach to market-based provision of ancillary services," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 3681-3700, July.
    4. Vandezande, Leen & Meeus, Leonardo & Belmans, Ronnie & Saguan, Marcelo & Glachant, Jean-Michel, 2010. "Well-functioning balancing markets: A prerequisite for wind power integration," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3146-3154, July.
    5. Pollitt, Michael G., 2012. "Lessons from the history of independent system operators in the energy sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 32-48.
    6. Hirth, Lion, 2013. "The market value of variable renewables," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 218-236.
    7. Katzenstein, Warren & Apt, Jay, 2012. "The cost of wind power variability," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 233-243.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hirth, Lion & Ueckerdt, Falko, 2013. "Redistribution effects of energy and climate policy: The electricity market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 934-947.
    2. Böttger, Diana & Götz, Mario & Theofilidi, Myrto & Bruckner, Thomas, 2015. "Control power provision with power-to-heat plants in systems with high shares of renewable energy sources – An illustrative analysis for Germany based on the use of electric boilers in district heatin," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 157-167.
    3. Schmidt, Johannes & Eisel, Matthias & Kolbe, Lutz M., 2014. "Assessing the potential of different charging strategies for electric vehicle fleets in closed transport systems," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 179-189.
    4. Kondziella, Hendrik & Bruckner, Thomas, 2016. "Flexibility requirements of renewable energy based electricity systems – a review of research results and methodologies," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 10-22.
    5. Koliou, Elta & Eid, Cherrelle & Chaves-Ávila, José Pablo & Hakvoort, Rudi A., 2014. "Demand response in liberalized electricity markets: Analysis of aggregated load participation in the German balancing mechanism," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 245-254.
    6. Brijs, Tom & De Vos, Kristof & De Jonghe, Cedric & Belmans, Ronnie, 2015. "Statistical analysis of negative prices in European balancing markets," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 53-60.
    7. Casimir Lorenz & Clemens Gerbaulet, 2014. "New Cross-Border Electricity Balancing Arrangements in Europe," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1400, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Strunz, Sebastian, 2014. "The German energy transition as a regime shift," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 150-158.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Balancing power; Control Power; Variable renewables; Wind power; Solar power; Market design;

    JEL classification:

    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities

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