F.A.Z.: BMWi Draft Ordinance on Electricity Demand Side Management

The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) is preparing a new ordinance regulating demand side management and allowing network operators to shed large loads to avoid grid overload, the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reports.

The measure shall increase network stability in Germany that suffered after last year’s energy policy shift when eight nuclear power plants were shut down following the Fukushima nuclear disaster. On 8 and 9 December Germany relied on electricity imports from Austria to ensure network stability.

The new ordinance shall facilitate load shedding for network operators. Already, load shedding agreements are a possible way to reduce load. Under certain restricted conditions, the German Energy Act (EnWG) allows to reduce not only electricity (and gas) input, but also output under certain restricted conditions (Section 13 para. 2 EnWG). The new ordinance shall enable grid operators to carry out automatic shutdowns to avoid grid overload, describing in detail how often and how long load shedding may last. Shutdowns shall be reimbursed depending on the load. According to FAZ, for 150 MW an annual fee of EUR 60,000 per consumer shall be paid, for 100 MW the fee shall amount to a maximum of EUR 45,000 and for 50 MW is shall be EUR 30,000. The costs shall be passed on to consumer with the the grid charges. According to government estimates the costs will amount to roughly EUR 102 million annually as only large customers will be affected by the new ordinance, FAZ says.

According to the paper, the Federal Network Agency, the German grid regulator, shall report on the new ordinance on an annual basis and parliament review its approval (which still has to be given) every three years.

Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 24 January 2012, page 9

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