The role of decentralised flexibility options for managing transmission grid congestions in Germany

Decentralised flexibility options connected to the distribution grid can be used for congestion management in the transmission grid. Their potential contribution for the transmission grid in Germany is investigated in a scenario analysis for the years 2030, 2040 and 2050.

The model-based evaluation shows that until 2050, cumulative grid congestion increases significantly, which indicates that there is a significant need for grid expansion. Decentralised flexibility options can reduce the cumulative grid congestion of the transmission grid by around 15% in 2030 to around 10% in 2050 if decentralised flexibility options are operated not just in line with the power market, but also with a view to transmission grid requirements. In absolute terms, the benefit of the decentralised flexibility options increases over time.

However, decentralised flexibility options are only suitable in a few cases to fully resolve grid congestions on a certain power line which indicates that grid extension might still be necessary, especially in the long term. Yet decentralised flexibility can still have effects on operational grid management (short-term perspective) and grid expansion needs (medium- and long-term perspective). Therefore, creating a suitable policy framework for the use of decentralised flexibilities is a contribution to achieving climate protection goals.