Understanding Distribution Grid Congestion Caused by Electricity Generation from Renewables

  • Hans Schermeyer
  • Michael Studer
  • Manuel Ruppert
  • Wolf Fichtner
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 495)


Worldwide the increasing amount of electricity from renewable energy sources (RES-E) is challenging the way how electricity systems traditionally work. While conventional power plants used to be located close to major demand centers, a great share of the RES-E capacity installed over the last years is located far away from areas of high demand. In various countries with a strong growth of RES-E this causes an increasing amount of grid congestion both on the transmission and distribution level, for example in Germany.

In this work we analyze congestion events in the distribution grid caused by RES-E feed-in and the resulting curtailment. The analysis is applied to an exemplary distribution grid in Northern Germany which faces frequent curtailment. We characterize observed curtailment events with regard to extent, length and frequency and illustrate the importance of location within the grid. The results are relevant for research on how to decrease curtailment and thus increase RES-E utilization within the distribution grid. Our goal is to provide detailed insights on the occurrence of RES-E curtailment to enable research on how to allocate a more efficient dispatch within congested grid areas and on technologies that can contribute to alleviating congestion.


Distribution grid Congestion management Renewable energy 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Schermeyer
    • 1
  • Michael Studer
    • 1
  • Manuel Ruppert
    • 1
  • Wolf Fichtner
    • 1
  1. 1.Chair of Energy Economics, Institute for Industrial Production (IIP)Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT)KarlsruheGermany

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