Climate protection contribution of large electricity storage facilities (Klimaschutzbeitrag von großen Stromspeichern)

Grid expansion currently lags behind the change in transport demand in the transmission grids and will do so for the foreseeable future. On the one hand, increasing transport requirements result from the expansion of renewable energies (RE) and the associated shift in the focus of generation away from the load centres and towards regions with particularly good potential for RE electricity generation. At the same time, the volume of cross-border electricity trading is growing strongly, inter alia due to European legal requirements.

Duration: November 2021 – August 2023

Funded by: Federal Environmental Agency

Project partners: Consentec GmbH, r2b energy consulting GmbH, IFES Institut für Energiespeicher GmbH

In addition to grid expansion which is still urgently needed, there is an intensive debate on ways to increase the utilisation of the existing grid infrastructure while at the same time guaranteeing grid security. For example, the French transmission system operator RTE already presented the “Ringo” project in 2017, in which bottlenecks are to be avoided by shifting the demand for transport over time via balance-neutral battery storage applications. In the technical discussion, such an approach is also referred to as virtual transmission. Based on this, a modification of the concept in the form of replacing the southern battery storage with a flexible gas-fired power plant has been proposed in Germany under the name “Netzpuffer” (grid puffer). The current project thus focusses on those two concepts “Ringo” and “Netzpuffer” and looks at their contribution to climate protection.

Project management

Dr. Markus Kahles
Tel: +49-931-79 40 77-16

Dr. Anna Halbig
Tel: +49-931-79 40 77-0


The Federal Environment Agency has invited tenders for a study to quantify the benefits of the different concepts for the realisation of virtual power lines on the basis of detailed model calculations and then to carry out a comprehensive energy-economic evaluation of the concepts. In addition, the study should also clarify the legal issues associated with the concept. As part of the winning consortium undertaking the study, the Stiftung Umweltenergierecht (Foundation for Environmental Energy Law) is in charge of the legal examination of the concepts for virtual lines to be examined within the scope of the commissioned project, namely the French “Ringo” and the German “Netzpuffer”.

In a first step, we examine how those two concepts fit into the existing simple legal and institutional legal framework, including if and where legal-regulatory obstacles to implementation may arise. Should such obstacles arise, the second step is to analyse the extent to which the identified obstacles can be overcome through adjustments to the legal framework. In addition, it needs to be ensured that the options for action to be developed are compatible with higher-ranking law, in particular constitutional and EU law, whereby the focus of the review is on national energy law, EU energy law and EU state aid law.