Germany passes key transmission law

GERMANY: A law to speed up the implementation of new high-voltage transmission lines for wind, fossil generation and electricity trading has been passed by the lower house of the German government.

Although there is a clear need for network expansion, there are critics of the scheme.

Some fear that some of the 36 measures identified in the "Bundesbedarfsplan-Gesetz", expected to cost a total EUR 10 billion, could end up as over-designed or even a stranded investment.

The original network development plan on which the law is based, drawn up by Germany's four transmission system operators, is designed to accommodate maximum output from both wind and other types of generation, points out environment organisation NABU.

Yet an upcoming new energy market design could require such peaks to be curtailed to optimise and reduce new transmission requirements. Electricity storage such as batteries and power to gas projects could also alter transmission needs.

Flexibility is ensured through annual updates to the network development plan, which must be considered by parliament at least every three years.

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