Lack of energy storage systems causes 900 million euros in damage

(© Miha Creative –

(© Miha Creative –

The German Federal Network Agency’s annual report points out the weak spots: In 2022, around 900 million euros had to be spent on stabilizing the electric grid because grid bottlenecks prevented the use of renewable energies. 

2024/03/14 - The cost of stabilizing the German electric grid reached an all-time high in 2022. A record value of over 8 billion kWh of renewable energy (compared to 5.8 billion in the previous year) was limited due to grid congestion. This mainly affected offshore (51 percent) and onshore wind power (39 percent). Solar power was also increasingly lost due to grid congestion: the loss rose from 237 million kWh in 2021 to 620 million in 2022. Although photovoltaics only accounted for just under 8 percent of the reduced volume, this share is expected to increase further in the coming years with the strong expansion forecast.

The main costs are caused by the so-called redispatch: in the event of grid bottlenecks, the transmission system operators instruct the power plant operators to reduce their production, regardless of the electricity trading rules. However, the electricity producers must be compensated for these interventions – and the electricity traders pass these costs on to their customers.

Battery storage – centralized storage or interconnected virtual “mega” batteries – could make redispatch obsolete. They can keep the production and demand of renewable electricity balanced by storing surplus electricity. This would also prevent reliance on gas-fired power plants to ramp up their production when more electricity is demanded than is being produced.

Some energy suppliers are now planning to integrate battery storage systems into their solar parks to better utilize the output of the systems. In December 2023, for example, EnBW commissioned its first battery storage system at the solar park near Bruchsal with a capacity of 3.5 MWh. Transmission system operator Amprion plans to build a network of battery storage systems totaling 250 MW in western Bavaria by the end of 2025. According to Amprion, the project is the “world’s first decentralized grid booster.”