The Model Region: Facts & Figures
Over 16 million people live in the WindNODE region between the Baltic Sea and the Thuringian Forest. All stages of the value chain, grid levels, market roles and actors of a complete electrical energy system are present and participating in WindNODE. With renewable energy primarily coming from the volatile sources of wind and sun making up a shar e of well over 56 percent of electricity consumption, the region is a unique pioneer of the ener gy transition in this respect and offers a view of the future of our energy system.
Experience with Energy and Transition
The history of modern energy supply began roughly 150 years ago in the heart of what is today the WindNODE region. With the presentation of his electric generator, Werner von Siemens laid the foundation for the breakthrough of electrification. Roughly 75 years ago, it was in this region where Konrad Zuse presented the first functional computer to the world. And today, both of these developments are merging in the “digitalisation of the energy industry”: a traditional Energy region that also has one of the liveliest start-up Scenes in Europe. The WindNODE region is and – and will remain – an energy pioneer.
WindNODE works within an environment that is already characterised by challenges such as the structural change in Lusatia, issues of acceptance of wind farms and grid expansion as well as discussions with the “electrical neighbours” of Poland and the Czech Republic concerning what are termed “loop flows”.
Security with Wind and Sun
The WindNODE region covers over half of its electricity consumption from renewable sources. The green electricity comes primarily from volatile sources (sun and, in particular, wind), which depend on the time of day and the w eather. Even through periods of low daylight, thick cloud covers and slow winds, and through episodes of high solar insolation, clear skies and powerful gusts, the electricity consumers of our region enjoy world class security of supply.
The reliability of the electricity supply in a country is measured by the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI). The SAIDI indicates how many minutes of the year, on average, end consumers have no electricity. Germany traditionally maintains a top position in this ranking.
A Region as Prototype for the Energy Transition
The WindNODE region features the ideal conditions for developing solutions to the challenges of the energy transition. Solutions which can also be employed to advance the energy transition elsewhere: The model region encompasses the entire control area of the transmission system operator 50Hertz (with the exception of Hamburg), including all levels and actors of a complete, large-scale energy system. Thinly populated areas with abundant wind power generation capacity exist alongside urban centres with high power demand.
Ratio of Installed Renewable Power to Peak Load*
This means that renewables could – in the theoretical case of optimal availability of solar and wind power – cover more than twice the annual peak load in the model region. In practice, of course, this value is never achieved. However, a new record was set in the 50Hertz control area in January 2019: For the first time, wind turbines supplied over 16 GW of power simultaneously.
A Glimpse into the Future of the Energy System
The high share of fluctuating energy regularly brings the power grids to their limits and makes frequent interventions by the transmission system operator necessary: a challenge that other regions will face more frequently in the future, too. The strength of WindNODE therefore arises in part from the uniqueness of the region, where the future of energy is already, in many ways, part of the present.