Avoided network charges – evaluation of the status quo and future perspectives

Electricity generation in the distribution grid reduces the amount of electricity purchased from upstream grid levels, which is why the payment of avoided grid fees to these decentralised generators was introduced. However, this payment will be gradually repealed due to the passing of the Netzentgeltmodernisierungsgesetz (NeMog, engl. Network Fee Modernisation Act) with the associated reduction and conversion of the calculation of avoided network fees. The abolition mainly affects non-EEG plants and thus controllable electricity generators.

The main justification for the abolition was that the increasing decentralised generation, including the expansion of renewable energies, does not lead to a reduction in the burden on the grid, but now rather increases the burden. This raises the question of the extent to which controllable electricity generation units such as CHP plants, which are connected in the distribution grid, relieve the grid and whether a remuneration for this relief is systemically and economically justifiable. The step-by-step procedure within the framework of the study is shown in Figure 1.


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Figure 1: Step-by-step procedure for the study

First, an overview of the current regulatory framework as well as relevant publications on the relevance and design possibilities of the avoided network charges will be given based on a literature search. From this, research gaps are derived.

Afterwards, analyses for different distribution grids are carried out using historical load and generation data. Hereby first, it is examined whether power purchase or feed-in is relevant for the grid dimensioning from the lower voltage levels to the upstream grid level. Secondly, this data is combined with the electricity generation data of the respective CHP plants to determine the extent to which CHP plants reduce the power demand from the upstream grid and thus the required grid dimensioning of the transfer stations.

Finally, analogies between avoided network charges and other remuneration mechanisms are examined, discussed and quantified.


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