Development of the imbalance of the Dutch electricity grid
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Generation and consumption within an electricity grid have to be in balance to keep the grids´ frequency at 50 Hertz. As a result, consumption is forecasted for which generation is scheduled. Deviations from the scheduled generation and consumption are referred to as imbalance and have to be settled in real time. Intermittent generation is expected to have an impact on the grids balance as their generation can only be predicted with limited certainty. The amount of installed capacity of intermittent generation such as wind and solar energy is expected to increase in the near future. In some countries in Europe the amount of installed capacity wind and solar generation has rapidly increased in recent years. An increase in imbalance will result in a bigger market for settlement mechanisms such as smart grids. Increased balancing costs will result in a bigger incentive for demand response (DR) as a balancing mechanism. With the increase of installed wind and solar generating capacity, it is found that the imbalance volume in Spain and Germany has increased in recent years. The imbalance volume has increased by amounts which can still be settled with control power activation. It is found that the share of the installed wind and solar capacity of the total installed capacity has a turning point in which an increased imbalance is noticeable. For this, the imbalance share of total consumption is taken as a measure in order to compare different sizes of control area and their imbalance. It is found that the turning point is at 20% of the installed wind and solar generating capacity. When more wind and solar generation is installed, the imbalance share increases as well and results in high shares of imbalance. However, below 20% installed capacity not a noticeable effect on the imbalance volume due to wind and solar generation is found. Since this increased share of imbalance found which is mostly noticeable in Germany, an increase of activated control power is expected to settle imbalance. However, due to the cooperation of the German Transmission System Operators (TSOs) the amount of activated control power has decreased. The German TSOs have been cooperating since 2008 when the Grid Control Cooperation (GCC) was implemented. The GCC provides the opportunity for TSOs to settle imbalance in their control area with imbalance in the opposite direction with another control area. This results in less control power activation for both control areas as they settle imbalance with each other if possible. As a result the amount of activated control power has decreased after implementation of the GCC and therefore the prices which have increased with the increase of control power activation decreased. The GCC has transformed into the International Grid Control Cooperation (IGCC) when neighboring countries of Germany were implemented as well. The Netherlands started participating in February 2012. Same as for the German TSOs, the imbalance could be settled with the interconnections for a large part. Only 55% of the current imbalance volume has to be settled with control power from which most of the rest is settled with interconnections through the IGCC. This has resulted in a decreased market for balancing settlement mechanisms like Demand Response (DR). With an expected increase in imbalance volume, DR was expected to play a big part in the settlement process. Since the IGCC has decreased the need for balancing settlement this market has decreased and therefore the need DR for balancing purposes has decreased. Within this research an estimation of DR potential in households for balancing purposes has been investigated. Only a limited number of devices in households are suitable for balancing purposes but together this results in a large balancing power potential. All the households in the Netherlands combined can provide balancing power for the largest share of the current imbalance. When the need for balancing power increases, DR in households will be able to settle a large part of the imbalance. With recent technology, throughout the year more than 100 MW of down regulation and 200 MW up regulating potential is available. For the near future this is however highly unlikely as the control power has decrease and might decrease more when more countries participate in the IGCC. Since the balancing costs have to go up before DR will be economically feasible.