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Pathways toward a Decarbonized Future—Impact on Security of Supply and System Stability in a Sustainable German Energy System
Energies, vol. 14, no. 3
Pathways leading to a carbon neutral future for the German energy system have to deal with the expected phase-out of coal-fired power generation, in addition to the shutdown of nuclear power plants and the rapid ramp-up of photovoltaics and wind power generation. An analysis of the expected impact on electricity market, security of supply, and system stability must consider the European context because of the strong coupling—both from an economic and a system operation point of view—through the cross-border power exchange of Germany with its neighbors. This analysis, complemented by options to improve the existing development plans, is the purpose of this paper. We propose a multilevel energy system modeling, including electricity market, network congestion management, and system stability, to identify challenges for the years 2023 and 2035. Out of the results, we would like to highlight the positive role of innovative combined heat and power (CHP) solutions securing power and heat supply, the importance of a network congestion management utilizing flexibility from sector coupling, and the essential network extension plans. Network congestion and reduced security margins will become the new normal. We conclude that future energy systems require expanded flexibilities in combination with forward planning of operation.