Procurement of control power and energy in Germany

First Control power 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 (primary control reserve, secondary control reserve as well as minute reserve, which is also called tertiary control reserve). These types differ according to the principle of activation and their activation speed. The close cooperation among the German TSOs enables the overall amount of control power required to be minimized.

Since 2001, the German TSOs have procured their primary control, secondary control and minutes reserve in an open, transparent and non-discriminatory control power market in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Cartel Office.

Primary control and secondary control power are procured in a weekly cycle; minutes reserve is daily called for tender. For tenders, the shared IT-platform has been installed by the German TSOs. They have developed market-based solutions which also meet the requirements of a secure and stable system operation.

Procurement is ensured through competitive bidding on a tender basis in the German control power market where a large number of suppliers (generators as well as consumers) participate, especially for minutes reserve. Via pooling also small suppliers can participate in the call for tenders. Almost 90 percent of all generating plants capable of providing control energy are qualified for participation at the TSOs. Since 2004, suppliers from the Austrian control areas of TIWAG Netz and VKW have also participated in the German market for minutes reserve.

For the information of market participants, the results of the call for tender (e.g. volumes and prices) are published on the web sites.

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