TenneT warns German government over offshore grid

GERMANY: The construction of an offshore grid in the German part of the North Sea cannot be implemented under current regulatory system, according to European grid operator TenneT.

TenneT has informed the German ministries for economic affairs and the environment "that the construction of connecting cables for offshore wind farms in the German part of the North Sea is no longer possible under current conditions."

The operator has put forward a number of changes to the current regulatory system. These include:

  • Long-term planning: a 10-year offshore grid development strategy and early planning and standardisation of power connections.
  • Legal liability: ambiguities regarding who is liable in the event of unavailability or delivery delays need to be settled. TenneT wants to establish insurance coverage for connection delays and non-availablity.
  • The creation of a DC grid operator. TenneT said: "The creation of offshore direct-current connections and the construction of large-scale direct-current connections in Germany require not only unprecedented use of capital, but also closely coordinated planning."

This is not the first time in recent months TenneT has issued a warning about offshore connection problems.

In November, it said it might struggle to install further offshore connections to North Sea wind farms due to a shortage of cables and cash.

The company said it has nine cable connections to German offshore wind farms currently under construction.

But it said that construction of further cables at this rate "is no longer desirable or possible" due to lack of skilled staff, shortages of materials and a lack of finance at Tennet and at supplier companies.

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