VISE Policy Brief No. 9: Aggregation of households in (regional) virtual power plants: Regulatory framework and hurdles

Regional virtual power plants (RVPPs) are virtual power plants located behind a single distribution network node. They market the flexibility of households by centrally controlling their generation, storage and consumption devices. These can be, for example, PV systems with battery home storage, heat pumps or micro-CHP systems with thermal storage or electric vehicles with smart chargers. RVPP operators can aggregate these units and market them on the wholesale market for electricity and, if applicable, the balancing power market. In principle, RVPPs can be operated economically. However, the current regulatory framework in Germany has a considerable impact on which business models are possible at all and how profitable they may be. Restrictions result in particular from the so-called final consumer status and the associated levies, charges and taxes on household electricity tariffs. The tariff structure makes storage operations involving the withdrawal from and re-injection of electricity into grid uneconomical. The only way to remedy this situation would be a complete netting of all levies, charges and taxes incurred during withdrawal from and re-injection into the grid. However, business models that rely solely on shifting household consumption in order to market the flexibility resulting flexibility are possible: household electricity tariffs are usually time-invariant and relying only on load shifting avoids an additional exchange of electricity with the grid and thus the associated levies, taxes and fees. Additional revenue opportunities also arise from potential direct marketing activities for owners of electricity generation plants subsidised under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) or the Combined Heat and Power Act (KWKG).

Type of Publication: Study
On behalf of: Own publication of the Virtual Institute Smart Energy (VISE)
Date: April 2020
Type of Publication: Study
On behalf of: Own publication of the Virtual Institute Smart Energy (VISE)
Date: April 2020