Header image of a transmission tower

Modalities & Legal Framework

Balancing Market in Germany

The German transmission system operators (TSOs) have to maintain the balance between electricity generation and consumption within their control areas at all times. For the performance of this task, the TSOs need different types of control reserve

  • Frequency Containment Reserve (FCR)
  • Frequency Restoration Reserve with automatic activation (aFRR)
  • Frequency Restoration Reserve with manual activation (mFRR)

The German TSOs procure all control reserves (balancing capacity and balancing energy) commonly across their control areas and partly in cooperation with neighbouring countries. The tendering is open, transparent and free from discrimination according to guidelines of the Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt - BKartA), the national regulatory authority (Bundesnetzagentur) and EU Guidelines.

Precondition for providing balancing services is the pre-qualification procedure of each balancing service provider (BSP) at the connecting TSO. The possibility of pooling/aggregation enables small technical units as well as loads to deliver balancing services. The terms and conditions for BSPs contain the market rules from qualification to settlement for all market participants.

The scope of a systematic further development of joint procurement, the German TSOs cooperate at operational level through the coordinated use of control reserve in the grid control cooperation (GCC) and activate control reserve across control areas at minimal costs.

This way of close cooperation will be extended across borders the next years with the objective to optimise the activation of all reserves across all EU TSOs.

Market description

Under the Guideline on Electricity Balancing (EB GL) referred to in Article 60, German TSOs are obliged to publish a report on balancing at least every two years. The following report prepared by Consentec is an update and supplement to the existing study from 2014 and provides an insight into the balancing power market and balancing power concepts.

In detail, the following aspects are considered among others:

  • Regulatory Framework
  • Network Access Model
  • Load Frequency Control
  • Prequalification, Procurement and Activation of Balancing Capacity and Balancing Energy
  • Imbalance Settlement
  • Future Developments of Balancing Markets
  • Executive Summary