In a new study for the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Navigant analyzed generation units with critical frequency settings with regard to system security in Germany and Europe. Led by Navigant and IFK (University of Stuttgart), the expert consortium also included Consentec and BBH. The model-based, quantitative analysis considers critical situations of underfrequency, over-frequency, and system split.
The implementation of the energy transition has significant effects on the power grid and brings new challenges for the reliable and safe operation of the interconnected system in Germany and Europe. Some technical shortcomings affecting the overall system, i.e. frequency protection settings or controllability of distributed generation, have proven to be quite persistent. Despite two retrofit programs, a certain number of distributed generation units in Germany and Europe do not fully meet the requirements of ENTSO-E to ensure a safe system operation. Affected generation units are disconnected from the grid at a certain under-frequency or over-frequency, usually 49.5 Hz or 50.2 Hz.
The study results show that Germany almost meets the ENTSO-E targets for both underfrequency and over-frequency. In other European countries, however, there are still large quantities of units with critical protection settings that require action at the EU level. Based on the analysis, the energy experts describe countermeasures at national and European level to further reduce the hazard potential.