Sian Crampsie

The European Commission has approved a scheme in Germany that aims to reduce electricity demand at peak times and improve flexibility in the electricity system.

The European Commission tested the measure, known as Verordnung zu abschaltbaren Lasten (AbLaV), under state aid rules and concluded that it would help to stabilize the electricity network.

Under the AbLaV proposals, German network operators can enter into flexible, weekly contracts with customers for a total of 1500 MW of capacity. The contracts allow network operators to remotely and at short notice reduce the consumption of those customers in exchange for a fee.

According to the Commission, Germany has shown that its electricity system, with an increasing share of intermittent renewable energy in the energy mix, requires increasing flexibility in the electricity grid. The Commission found that AbLaV will improve the ability of network operators to react to short term volatility in the electricity network.

The Commission also found that the measure has the long-term benefit of creating a more responsive demand side. It added that the costs of the scheme would be kept in check by the weekly competitive auctions used to determine the fee paid to customers.