• Ecofys and Fraunhofer IWES offer recommendations for better PV systems integration into the German grid for a study commissioned by the German government
  • Better PV system integration to the grid needs more regulatory support
  • A sustainable solution should be addressed at the national and European level, suggests the report

The German PV market needs to have new approaches as regional strategic grid concepts to help grid expansion and also facilitate the growth of renewable energy. It also needs to address congestion efficiently. Renewable energy consultancy Ecofys, along with research institute Fraunhofer IWES, have published such recommendations in the new ‘Network Integration of Photovoltaic Systems’ report. Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Environment and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the report was released on April 19, 2016.

The 34-page report’s recommendations focus on issues concerning PV expansion supervision along with economic and technical conditions, which will support the integration of PV systems in a country that has one of the the highest per-capita PV installation levels in the world. PV systems supplied nearly 8% to satisfy power demand in Germany in 2015.

While distribution grid operators can curtailment feed-in-peaks by as much as 3% per year to avoid grid expansion influences the development of bottlenecks in distribution grids. The savings are only limited to regions where a saturation of renewable energy expansion is foreseeable. This would make it imperative to coordinate grid expansion and renewable energy growth. Regulatory support would help give certainty and lead to the required system balancing, suggests Ecofys.

There are also recommendations regarding technical control mechanisms: “Although massive efforts have been taken via a guideline on system stability in the midterm, a significant amount of installed PV capacity still remains with frequency settings of 50.2 Hz. To find a sustainable and secure solution, further measures are necessary,” says Karsten Burges from Ecofys. This, he says, can probably be addressed on a national and European level.

To download the report (in Germany language), click here.