Govaerts, Niels; Bruninx, Kenneth; Le Cadre, H.; Meeus, Leonardo; Delarue, Erik (2019)
In many countries, distribution grid tariffs are being reformed to adapt to the new realities of an electricity system with distributed energy resources. In Europe, legislative proposals have been made to harmonize these reforms across country borders. Many stakeholders have argued that distribution tariffs are a local affair, while the EU institutions argued that there can be spillovers to other countries, which could justify a more harmonized approach. In this paper, we quantify these spillovers with a simplified numerical example to give an order of magnitude. We look at different scenarios, and find that the spillovers can be both negative and positive. We also illustrate that the relative size of the countries is an important driver for the significance of the effects. To be able to quantify these effects, we developed a long-run market equilibrium model that captures the wholesale market effects of distribution grid tariffs. The problem is formulated as a non-cooperative game involving consumers, generating companies and distribution system operators in a stylized electricity market.
The role of DSOs is evolving due to the increasing penetration of intermittent and distributed energy resources in the distribution system. On the one hand, TSOs are accessing flexibility resources connected to the distribution grid. On the other hand, DSOs are actively managing distribution grid congestion, moving away from the conventional fit and forget approach. As a result, the need for DSO-TSO cooperation has become increasingly important. In this study, we first discuss market and grid operation issues related to different system states and the corresponding congestion management approaches. Second, we discuss possible solutions that are inspired by inter-TSO cooperation solutions as well as solutions that are being adopted by DSOs. Our findings show that the issues are rather similar both at transmission and distribution level; however, the need for cooperation and the solutions will depend on where structural congestion will occur and which borders will be managed.
Traditional analysis of distribution grid user’s reaction to tariffs assumes a low price sensitivity and a lack of alternative technologies to grid connection. This is radically changing with two technology breakthroughs: (1) Photovoltaics (PV) enable domestic and commercial consumers to self-produce energy; (2) Batteries allow self-producers to set both their grid energy and capacity parameters. Contributing to the state of the art, the grid cost recovery problem is modelled as a non-cooperative game between consumers. In this game, the availability and costs of new technologies (such as PV and batteries) strategically interact with tariff structures. Four states of the world for user’s access to new technologies are distinguished and three tariff structures are evaluated. The assessed distribution network tariff structures are: energy volumetric charges with net-metering, energy volumetric charges for both injection and withdrawal, and capacity-based charges. Results show that the new distribution world -open by new technology choices for grid users- is highly interactive and threatens grid regulation not understanding it.
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