The overall need for redispatch and countertrading volumes in Germany has been decreasing since 2015. Despite this decrease, it appears some coal plants are staying online, which is likely due to the strong demand for reactive and voltage related redispatch.
Graph 1 “ Yearly development of total volumes for redispatch and countertrading” (Source https://www.netztransparenz.de/)
Digging into the shares of the redispatch volumes, we can observe different trends: in particular, we have noted a steady increase in the so-called “Spannungsbedingter redispatch”: the volumes called by TSOs for voltage-related redispatch.
Graphs 2 and 3 below show that during Q2 2020, the volumes called for voltage-related redispatch have been picking up substantially: a similar pattern was observed during summer 2019, but now it is even more pronounced.
Graph 2 “ Yearly development of total volumes for voltage related redispatch” (Source https://www.netztransparenz.de/)
Graph 3 “ Quarterly development of total volumes for voltage related redispatch” (Source https://www.netztransparenz.de/)
The cause this behavior could possibly be the substantial solar output, combined with limited production from conventional power plants. In fact with the CCGT Short Run Marginal Cost (SRMC) being much more competitive than its coal equivalent, Germany relies often on strong cross border imports to cover its residual load.
In certain areas, particularly in the southern part of the country, this constellation determines a strong need for reactive power in order to control the grid voltage. This has resulted in TSOs calling for “Spannungsbedingter redispatch”, redispatch voltage-related, conventional plants (also coal plants which are out of the money) as described in detail on the left-hand side of graph 4 below. The main part of the active power produced by these plants is sold in the intraday market (“Börse”) see the right-hand side.
Graph 4 “ Quarterly development of total volumes for voltage related redispatch: plants called to increase (Wirkleistungeinspeisung erhören) and decrease (Wirkleistungeinspeisung reduzieren) ” (Source https://www.netztransparenz.de/)
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