Federal Network Agency: Power Grid Power Throttling Reserved for Critical Situations

Federal Network Agency: Power throttling in the power grid only as a last resort

The power grid is set to face new challenges in the coming years due to the energy turnaround. While the primary energy requirement is expected to decrease, the demand for electricity, particularly for heat pumps and electric cars, will increase. The Federal Network Agency has suggested using electricity primarily when it is available in large quantities, such as on sunny or windy days, as an incentive to reduce strain on the grid.

In November 2022, the Federal Network Agency presented initial proposals to address these challenges. After receiving feedback, revisions were made, ensuring a minimum output of 4.2 kW instead of the previous 3.7 kW. This will allow heat pumps to continue operating efficiently. In the event of an emergency, the agency suggests restricting the network-related power consumption of individual connections rather than individual electricity consumers.

To encourage the use of electricity during times of ample green energy supply, a reduced final grid fee will be introduced. The Federal Network Agency proposes various models for reducing the fee, allowing the operator of a controllable consumer device to choose the most favorable option. A uniform nationwide regulation will determine the discount, which can range from 110 to 190 euros per year depending on the network area.

Variable network charges may also be introduced to relieve the load on power grids. The network operator would offer consumers a variable network fee alongside the flat-rate discount. This would involve dividing the year into multiple time windows with three price levels for locally applicable network charges.

The new rules, which will be decided upon after further consultations, are expected to be implemented from the beginning of 2024. The Federal Network Agency emphasizes that network operator interventions will remain a mandatory exception. Temporary dimming of the network in emergencies through variable load distribution is the goal, ensuring that shutdowns are not necessary. Network operators must also factor in measures to reduce power consumption and swiftly address any bottlenecks in the network through expansion planning.

It is crucial to note that these proposals are subject to further discussion and may undergo additional revisions before their implementation in 2024.

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