VDE FNN Zielbild "Energiesystem 2030"

The VDE FNN vision "The Energy System in 2030" shows how the coordination of new players in a future "climate-neutral grid" looks like

| VDE FNN
2022-05-04 Studien + Roadmaps + Hinweise TOP

Towards a “climate protection grid” by 2030

Germany has one of the most reliable power grids in the world. Our extensive infrastructure with more than 100.000 km of transmission networks and 1,7 million km of distribution networks supplies up to 45 million customers nationwide.

Ambitious climate protection goals as well as the reduction of energy dependence due to the transition from coal and nuclear power plants to renewable energy generation are the main factors changing power structures and bringing new challenges for maintaining supply security.

The current war waged by Russia against Ukraine clearly shows the risks associated with an energy supply that is predominantly dependent on imports. Renewable energies are a key step towards an independent energy security.

Decarbonization goes hand in hand with increasing electrification of transport and heating sectors as well as industry which leads to a growing demand for renewable electricity. E-mobility and heat pumps bring additional challenges for system integration while also offering additional flexibility potential. The energy transition will only succeed if we harness this potential through the efficient integration of millions of decentralized feeders and millions of flexible consumers and storage units into the system. This cannot be achieved without a rapid expansion of the transmission and distribution grids and without an extensive digitalization of the distribution grids with intelligent control of grid connected plants. Cybersecurity and data protection "by design" are indispensable building blocks for this development to happen.

The work behind the transformation towards a "climate-neutral grid" is being done by expert groups in VDE FNN which are working closely together and weighing in their different perspectives and interests to develop well balanced and forward-looking technical solutions.

VDE FNN has drawn up a vision of the energy system 2030 and provided a concrete roadmap for implementation. This gives concrete details on the main topics of the work from VDE FNN and thus addresses future challenges at an early stage.

Transformation Energy System 2030: Triple Jump
VDE FNN

It is crucial that the adaptation/redesign of the regulatory framework and market design go hand in hand with technical regulation. Major challenges are currently the development of the regulatory framework for an accelerated grid expansion, digitalization and market design. For example: it is of no use if intelligent metering systems are installed, and control systems become technically feasible all the while the end customers cannot enjoy the possible benefits of these systems due to a lack of a regulatory framework (e.g. §14a amendment). Moreover, the expansion of renewable energies will only lead to the decarbonization of the energy system if green electricity can be fed into the grid and transported to consumers.



In focus

System transformation with a secure and reliable energy supply

Expanding renewable generation to replace large power plants

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Why? Renewable energy plants must also take on the role of large power plants in supporting the system, not only by injecting power but also through the provision of ancillary services. Future plants must be developed according to these requirements. The system must also be designed to enable the integration of renewables and their development of capabilities to support the system.

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How?

  • Grid expansion: a strong transmission grid is a prerequisite for regional power balancing across Europe. The expansion of distribution grids can help avoid local grid constraints and with the integration of new generators and consumers.
  • Capabilities which so far have been provided by large power plants, must be provided in the future by renewable energy plants, storage facilities and flexible consumers. It is important to act early: the capabilities which are not defined in the technical rules will not be available at a later point and even will lead to plants being retrofitted at great expense. This is an important factor when considering more than 10 million decentralized generators, storage facilities and flexible loads coming onto the system in the future. The capabilities must be defined as well as the plants that provide them.
  • The cooperation between network operators must be standardised.

The regulatory framework must be developed according to the system

  • It is still not determined which capabilities for the system are to be procured and remunerated through the market, which ones are to be promoted through incentives and which ones are to become mandatory as minimum technical requirements defined in the Technical Connection Rules.
  • Technology and regulatory frameworks must be developed hand in hand to accelerate the system transformation.
  • The roles for players in the grid, exceptions to the requirements and specifications for grid integration of new technologies must be defined in advance. The required capabilities for operation with 80% renewables must be built up in advance, thus minimizing costly retrofits. There should be no economic incentives to fall short of minimum technical requirements.

Capabilities for the Energy System by 2030 Challenge Responsibility / Role VDE FNN

1. Voltage regulation

2. Black start capability

  • Future market-procured service
  • Still open: procurement model (scope, rights and obligations, transition periods, exceptions)
  • German National Regulatory Authority (BNetzA)
  • Define and implement 1. in the TCRs
  • Identify further need for action

3. Inertia of local grid stability

  • Market procurement suspended
  • Still open: requirements, scope, rights and obligations for provision in the future system
  • Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)

  • Until 2023: elaborate technical specifications as basis for this capability
  • By 2025/2026: implementation in the TCRs

4. Frequency behaviour
5. Short circuit current
6. Behaviour in the event of a fault
/ Dynamic reactive current support
7. Island operability
  • Since 2018 regulated for installations at all voltage levels in the TCRs
  • Market procurement suspended for 5, 6, 7

  • VDE FNN was commissioned for the implementation of EU NC for connection of power generators, load connection and HVDC (EnWG §19, Para. 4, Sentence 2)
  • Minimum technical requirements EnWG §19
  • Rights and obligations EnWG §49: via TAR and grid connection contracts
  • SysStabV (retrofit 50.2 Hz)

An increasingly complex system requires intelligent control

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Why? Grid operation is becoming more complex. The grid is experiencing extreme events more regularly. The control of processes through the market allows more actors than ever before to be active participants in the grid. This creates new opportunities and risks.

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One opportunity is to utilize the capabilities of all customers to support the system. This also entails the risk that actors and market mechanisms could be bundled together to become critical to system operation. The impact of market behaviour and simultaneity effects on the grid is increasing. Furthermore, consumption such as e-mobility charging and heating, as well as weather-dependent generation, have a direct impact on the grid.

How?

The energy grids must be digitalised to enable a comprehensive monitoring of grid states and to allow the application of targeted remedial actions in critical grid situations. The challenge is to develop solutions for all phases of grid operation despite the complexity of the system which make the overall system safer and support grid operation and those responsible for it.

  • Transparency and observability: energy grids must be digitalised and equipped with sensors and actuators to monitor grid states throughout the network and to control the demand for and supply of electricity to end customers through targeted measures during critical grid situations.
  • The foundations must be laid for automated grid operation and assistance systems.
  • Concepts and standards for IT security in the distributed power system must be further developed.

Monitoring and maintaining grid reliability at a constant level despite increasing complexity of the system

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Why? The energy system is the basis for critical infrastructures such as water supply, heat supply, telecommunications and transport. Therefore, it is paramount to maintain a high grid reliability and grid resilience in the future. Technology in the power grid (primary and secondary equipment) is becoming more complex and the grid resources are being utilised to a higher degree. At the same time, we should minimise the impact from new consumer devices on the grid.

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How?

  • Roll out a systematic observation and evaluation of supply interruptions and perturbations in order to take immediate action.
  • Develop quality standards and training for installation of underground power lines.
  • Create a concept for crisis and risk management to allow for quick and appropriate measures during a crisis situation.
  • Make a concrete plan for the availability of gas-fired power plants during a blackout situation.
  • Continue developing the crisis resource register.

VDE FNN takes action

Manufacturers, grid operators and research institutions work together in VDE FNN on the development of grid technology and grid operation. A key goal is to define capabilities for plants connected to the grid and support their gradual adoption. The requirements for customer plants (generation, consumers and energy storage) are defined in the VDE FNN rules and are continuously being updated. One of the last updates has contributed to rooftop PV systems becoming active users in the grid by supporting the system with voltage regulation at the grid connection point. Work is currently underway to ensure that renewable generation systems not only feed in energy into the grid but also help to keep voltage and frequency within the permissible operating range. In the event of faults, plants must also contribute to their clearance. In short, renewable energy plants are to take on the role of large power plants in supporting the power grid.

Further development of customer plant capabilities
VDE FNN

Some concrete examples

  • The technical capabilities of installations at the grid connection point are defined in the Technical Connection Rules
  • Grid operators will cooperate even more closely in the future. VDE FNN defines rules on what information is exchanged and how. This concerns the interfaces between DSOs and between TSOs and DSOs.
  • A practical grid status monitoring system (in German): analogue to a traffic navigation system, which provides an overview of the traffic, grid operators will be able in future to exchange and display data on grid utilisation from all voltage levels digitally. This will enable grid operators to always keep an eye on the condition of their networks and to intervene at the right time to achieve an optimal balance of the grid in the event of disruptions or impending grid constraints. This information can also be valuable for network planners. The findings from the development of this monitoring system, from workshops with experts and from initial practical tests have been incorporated into the Application Rule for "Interfaces between distribution networks"(only in German).
  • Data on grid reliability and supply interruption events are recorded and evaluated nationwide and published by VDE FNN (in German).
  • VDE FNN is working on the IT security in the distributed energy supply system.
  • The communication technology for normal operation, faults and blackout are being defined.


In focus

Bringing the energy transition to the customer

Driving customer value for new energy world by enabling each customer to contribute to flexibility and reducing complexity in the system

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Why? If we want to cover our electricity consumption as much as possible with renewable energy (80% by 2030), it must be possible to shift our electricity consumption to those hours when plenty of power from renewable resources is available. In this way, the demand for electricity can become climate-neutral without affecting customers.

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A central element for this is the smart metering system, which collects data at many grid connection points and allows for applications, such as heat pumps, wallboxes, generators or home storage units, to be activated for the energy transition through a targeted control strategy.

How?

The technology for the smart metering infrastructure is in place and the smart meter rollout is underway. However, it remains to be seen which actors have which rights and obligations and what incentives will be created for end customers to participate in the energy transition. So far, only a few customer installations are connected via smart metering systems and can therefore be controlled. There is still a lack of incentives for flexibilisation through investments in storage, load control or energy management systems, as well as their corresponding tariff models and business models. The appropriate basis is missing in the regulatory framework and market processes and are therefore failing to make flexibility through load management or the use of variable tariff systems attractive for end customers.

Two aspects must be observed in this context:

  • The market must be organised to provide incentives for flexibility and necessary investments in control and management systems. Specifically, the following questions need to be answered: what are the incentives for supporting the system and demand side flexibility? How will investments in guaranteed capacity for storage, electric vehicles, PV systems or “flexsumers” pay off? How can variable tariffs offer the highest possible incentives for supporting the system? Different incentives and individual measures must be systemically embedded in an overall concept to satisfy the justified requirements of end customers, the power grid and suppliers/service providers.
  • As many plants as possible should become an active part of the energy system via the market. Market design must be continuously developed for this purpose. It must be suitable for an agile transformation of the energy systems towards climate neutrality with the highest priority being security of supply. In critical situations customer plants must be able to support the grid, to react appropriately during grid constraints or overloads and to (pro)actively counteract these.

Ensuring an optimal involvement of all stakeholders and accelerating the implementation through technical rules and targeted measures

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Why? The rapid adaptation of energy systems to the goals of the energy transition requires that manufacturers, operators and customers have sufficient incentives and planning security for business models and investments. This is particularly important for making the smart metering system useful for customers, service providers and grid operators.

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The roles and rules for actors in the system must be clear to allow as many customers as possible to become an active part of the energy system facilitated through the market. The participation must be worthwhile for customers and the priority of signals in critical situations must be defined.

How?

  • By approaching solutions holistically and considering the interests of all stakeholders. Future rights and obligations of all stakeholders must be clear and system security and transparency of the measures must be ensured. Rules for grid operation and requirements for technology must be coordinated with the security requirements of the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), the calibration authorities and the market. Customer benefit and convenience (or simplicity) are critical to success. We must find technical solutions that also enable trading companies and system providers to easily carry out standardised installations. In order for this to happen quickly, a uniform roadmap is needed to complement the BMWK/BSI step-by-step plan, in which, among other things, targets and measures are updated in the regulatory framework.
  • By developing a coordination function in the regulatory framework. For access to flexibility by the different market participants, VDE FNN has developed a practical model for the coordination function, which must be included in the BSI plan. This ensures that, under normal circumstances, customers and service providers are free to decide on the control of the system. However, it must be possible to prioritise access to those customers who are useful to the grid in order to avoid critical situations. This makes it clear, who has which task and when and what happens in critical situations. This function is important for market integration and security of supply but has not still been integrated into the regulatory framework and the BMWK/BSI step-by-step plan.

Promoting standardised interfaces which are manufacturer-independent and compatible with different systems

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Why? Standardised and interoperable interfaces enable business models and facilitate the use of different products and manufacturers nationwide. Thanks to this, the market and the variety of services grows and the entry barriers for customers are lowered. Security requirements can be more easily defined.

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How?

Each organization has developed standards: BSI for interoperability and security for communications in the smart metering system, VDE FNN for specifications, processes and rules for rollout and metering point operation and VDE DKE for the electrotechnical interfaces and products (also internationally through IEC). The following examples shows where standards can facilitate implementation:

  • Specifications for electricity meters, gateways and the control box (VDE FNN specifications, in German)
  • Preparation and implementation of the rollout: electronic delivery note and guidelines for rollout processes, security of logistic chains (VDE FNN Guidelines, in German) and defined micro processes
  • Cross-company interoperability testing (in German) and safety certification
  • Metering point operation, proof of conformity, sampling procedures
  • Protection profiles define security requirements (BSI-CC-PP)
  • Security for system units for the use of the intelligent metering system (BSI TR 03109-5)
  • Information exchange on the customer installation (e.g. VDE-AR-E 2829-6, e.g. EEBUS)
  • Energy management system for charging stations (e.g. VDE-AR-E 2122-1000)
  • Protection and control technology protocol for the FNN control box (e.g. IEC 61850)

VDE FNN takes action

Mit Spezifikationen und Lastenheften für Zähler, Gateways und Steuerbox sowie für technische Prozesse stellt VDE FNN sicher, dass die verschiedenen Module zusammenarbeiten. Hersteller und Betreiber arbeiten im VDE FNN zusammen an der Weiterentwicklung. Erfahrungen aus Interoperabilitätstests fließen direkt in die Spezifikationen ein.


In focus

Developing grid operation in a climate-friendly and sustainable way

For technology and operation: optimising the service life and environmental compatibility of systems

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Why? The electricity system is a wide branched out infrastructure with over 100.000 km of transmission networks and 1,7 million km of distribution networks. The grid consists of many plants and parts, some of which remain in operation for over 40 years. Any decisions affecting the grid have therefore a very lasting effect.

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How?

Grid operators are already doing a lot for the environment and the climate:

  • Grid operators focus on the thoughtful use of resources through the operation of long-standing assets. Extending the shelf life of clothing and consumer products is a current subject of lively public debate. In grid operation, extending the service life is common practice. Operating resources are in use for 40 or more years. This is not only sustainable, but also reduces the number of construction sites, especially in urban areas, and thus protects the environment. New materials which are environmentally friendly and more durable offer additional potential. The goal is to use materials which are produced from sustainable raw materials considering energy efficiency, which can be used for a long time, and which can be reused in the future through recycling and disposed in an environmentally friendly way.
  • A new and particularly interesting development is that extremely durable and reliable resources are now being linked with short-lived digital elements in the network. This is where disruption meets longevity.
  • Grid operators use climate-friendly innovations and products. For example, they use satellites and drones for sustainable route management or rely on SF6-free switchgear.
  • The integration of a large number of renewable energy plants ensures a sustainable power supply. The importance of individual plants is decreasing, which is leading to an increase in the effectiveness and interaction of all plants.
  • Grid operators pilot innovations on "sustainable resources" for grid operation.
  • In the long term we should be able to quantify and regulate climate protection and sustainability. In order to install long-lasting, sustainable assets in the grid, planning security and corresponding support and subsidies are needed. The current regulatory framework lacks sustainability criteria for grid technology and grid operation.

VDE FNN takes action

  • Sustainability through digitalisation and automation: VDE FNN focuses its technical rules in long-lasting operation of grid assets. These systems should have an even better capability for updates, be designed as a modular concept and meet the requirements for the circular economy.
  • VDE FNN ensures that new equipment (new materials, new effectiveness in the system, different manufacturers) are interoperable so that grid operators have the broadest possible range of solutions and products. The use of switchgear with alternative gases is supported by recommendations for action (deployment of SF6, in German).
  • Uniform interfaces among operating assets will be defined in terms of their electrotechnical characteristics and data capabilities.
  • Interfaces are to be described and defined to ensure that new equipment and equipment types can also be integrated into the whole system in a modular way, thus supporting the transformation of the energy system.
  • VDE FNN is providing guidelines for operation and technical commissioning.