National framework

ROBINSON and the aforementioned policies and strategies may refer to EU under a general context, but concerning the implementation of such a project, there are differences between the EU member states’ legislation that should be taken into consideration. As reported in Deliverable 1.2, the following is an abstract referring to regulations about: the realisation of DER systems, connection to electrical grid, connection to gas network and connection to district heating grid. 

  • DER systems consist of different energy generators/converters and storage systems that are regulated/controlled via an energy management system for a reliable, secure and cost-effective supply of the consumers, depending on the local resources. The scale of the systems depends on the local possibilities and requirements. Due to the flexible design based on the local situation, there is no one fit-for-all system. The responsibilities and framework conditions for obtaining general operating permits for systems such as those to be used in the Robison project vary greatly in some European countries and depend on the size of the respective technical systems and processes applied for. In the procedure for obtaining an operating licence, which is carried out by local administrative authorities, the effects of the proposed operation (of the subcomponents) on the (living) environment are assessed and weighed up. The applicant must provide information on: Operational safety, emissions, impact on nature (protected areas, flora/fauna) etc. There are no consistent standards for this throughout Europe. Nationally/regionally, the same value system (protection of the environment) is applied in principle, but possibly with different limit values, e.g. for distance requirements, emission limits, etc. This has a great influence on the economic viability of DER systems if, for example, the use of wind energy in the vicinity of the consumer cannot be approved. Essential here is e.g. the size and/or number of planned wind turbines.  The scope of approval procedures for wind turbines depends strongly on this. In national procedures, a distinction is usually made with regard to the (maximum) height of the wind turbines, as this criterion correlates, for example, with environmental impacts such as emitted noise, shadow flicker, effects on bird migration and, in general, with acceptance by the population.  In most countries, a significantly more complex procedure is required for wind turbines with a total height of 50 m above ground, with a large number of associations/persons to be involved. As a result, the open procedures may take several years and thus considerably longer than less complex procedures for other subsystems. The application for an operating permit is made by the operator. However, since a DER system can involve a large number of different technical systems, which do not have to be spatially closely connected, there is no uniform, coupled authorisation procedure. This also applies if the DER system is to be realised with different operators for individual subsystems. For a holistic view, there is therefore always the risk that individual subsystems that are essential for economic operation may not obtain an operating licence.  Moreover, EU regulations 2016/631 (RfG NC 2016) apply, even if they focus more on trade issues then describing technical requirements in detail.
  • Concerning the connection to the grid, in Europe as well as worldwide, there exists a multitude of nationally/regionally valid standards for the connection of PGM to a superordinate power grid. The rules laid out under RfG NC within the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) Framework Guidelines on Electricity Grid Connection were aimed to meet the principles of the Third Energy Package namely to increase sustainability, security of supply and to elaborate the concept of a single European market for electricity. In May 2018, two years after the RfG NC had been published, European Member States have been obliged to conclude the respective national implementations of their individual grid codes. European member states in this context sublement the twenty-six European member states and following nine other European countries, which belongs to the European synchronous grid aera: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Iceland and Norway (relevant for the Robinson demonstrator project). The Energy Community provides documentation for technical assistance for the connection network codes implementation (Electricity Coordinating Center Ltd. 2021). In parallel the European Standard EN 50549-1/2, prepared by the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) (CLC/TC 8X), relates to both the RfG NC and current technical market needs. Its purpose is to give detailed description of functions to be implemented in products. This European Standard is also intended to serve as a technical reference for the definition of national requirements where the RfG NC requirements allow flexible implementation (mainly for low voltage connection Typ A and B PGMs). In (CENELEC & SCHAUPP 2018) an overview about intention and scope of the EN 50549 is given.
  • As for connection to gas network, within the Robinson demo project, the different types of gas produced are only transported in the internal network of the single consumer. There is therefore no feed-in to a regional network. Permits must be obtained from the local authorities for the construction and operation of an internal gas distribution network. Nevertheless, feeding into an existing gas distribution network is regulated differently at national/local level in the various European countries. An example of such regulations is the worksheet G2000 prepared by the DVWG (DVWG 2017) in Germany, or the Technical Minimum Requirements (TMA) for the injection of upgraded biogas into a local natural gas network of the operator (NEW Netz 2019). These guidelines are primarily concerned with the quality of the injected gas, the use of standardised components and measuring equipment, as well as the recording of the incoming/outgoing volume flows and their documentation and data exchange.
  • Concerning connection to district heating grid, There are two types of Heat Network. The first is communal heating, in which all dwellings within a single building are supplied by a central heating system. The second is District Heating, where heat is produced from a central source and delivered through a network to multiple buildings or sites. Buildings could be residential, public or commercial use or some combination of these. In (Euroheat & Power 2016) general guidelines which contain a set of recommendations focusing on planning, installation, use and maintenance of district heating (DH) substations within district heating systems throughout Europe are given.

The following standards and EU directives are basis for these guidelines:

  • Pressure Equipment Directive (97/23/EC)
  • Measuring Instruments Directive (2004/22/EC)
  • Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (2002/91/EC)
  • Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC)
  • Energy Services Directive (2006/32/EC)
  • Eco-design Directive (2005/32/EC)
  • EN/CEN standards: EN 1434, CEN 311, etc.