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Distributed electricity generation can pay

Distributed electricity generation from renewable and clean energy sources can be sold on liberalised electricity markets even without feed-in tariff support, according to a study from Fraunhofer ISE.

With increasing shares of renewable and clean energy in Europe, renewable energy systems and distributed power units with combined heat and power (CHP) could take over a significant part of the electricity supply in countries such as Germany.

With this in mind, Fraunhofer ISE along with industry partners have identified solutions for selling electricity from distributed generation of renewable energy on the liberalised electricity markets according to market needs.

The EU funded project, Market Access for Smaller Size Intelligent Electricity Generation (MASSIG), analysed national market chances by gain-loss evaluations considering legal, regulatory and technical framework conditions in the four sample countries: Denmark, Germany, Poland and the UK.

Offering additional services

The project found that a key for success “is to combine the delivery of electrical power with the offering of additional services, which e.g. might contribute to grid stabilisation like the provision of balancing power. Also alternative power generators are able to contribute to such services and profit from them if intelligent operation management is realised,” Fraunhofer says.

A successful example

One of the project partners, badenova WÄRMEPLUS, a subsidiary of South-West German utility badenova, operates a number of medium-sized CHP plants. With suggestions from the MASSIG team, it is now possible to have profitable operation of older CHP plants where the feed-in tariff period has expired.

The electricity from the CHP plants can be sold on the power markets and can be offered on the balancing markets offering balancing power that can be used by the transmission grid operators.

“The work in the MASSIG project made us aware of promising solutions for our company. It became clear, that with an implementation of intelligent marketing strategies like those shown by MASSIG, electricity generation from combined heat and power generation units can still pay off even under more difficult framework conditions,” says Klaus Preiser, CEO of badenova WÄRMEPLUS.

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