What exactly is the imbalance market?

Not everyone knows about the imbalance market, and even fewer people know that it plays a major role in our energy network. This is because it used to be only for large consumers. Read below what exactly the imbalance market is, how the price fluctuations occur and whether you as a company or an individual can access this market.

The imbalance market is an energy market. There are many other markets, such as the futures and day-ahead markets, where power or gas can be purchased days, weeks, months or even years in advance. Should it turn out on the day itself that a wrong estimate was made and therefore more or less power was purchased, the imbalance market is traded. Trading on the imbalance market takes place on a quarter-hourly basis. The purpose of this market is to balance the electricity grid: if there is a difference between planned production and actual consumption, this difference must be corrected to keep the grid stable. Network operators buy or sell electricity on the imbalance market to compensate for these differences, and prices can vary quarterly, depending on supply and demand.

Prices in the imbalance market

Boisterous prices in the imbalance market can vary greatly depending on the balance between supply and demand. At times of high demand and low supply, for example during cold winter nights, prices can soar. Conversely, at times of low consumption and high supply, for example on sunny afternoons when solar panels generate a lot of electricity, prices can fall sharply. These price fluctuations are then due to the (additional) costs of keeping the electricity grid in balance.

Access for companies and private individuals

In principle, the imbalance market is aimed at large players above 80A connections, such as power producers and suppliers. But with the advent of smart technologies and EMS systems, it is also becoming possible for individuals to indirectly participate in this market. This is done by combining the batteries of several consumers to one large battery.

The link between Blauhoff batteries or and the imbalance market

Batteries, such as Blauhoff Maxus or Home the play an interesting role in the relationship with the imbalance market. By storing energy when it is cheap (for example, during surplus solar power) and releasing it when prices are high, households can save on their energy costs and contribute to grid stability. Moreover, home battery providers can make arrangements with energy suppliers to make the stored power available for balancing the grid, thus indirectly participating in the imbalance market.

The imbalance market and the other energy markets together provide a stable and reliable electricity system. They enable flexible response to fluctuations in supply and demand.

Do you have more questions?