German grid expansion plan published

GERMANY: Economics minister Peter Altmaier has presented measures for expanding the grid to better integrate renewable energy sources.

About 10,200GWh of power was curtailed in 2017, the BNA stated (pic credit: Tennet)
About 10,200GWh of power was curtailed in 2017, the BNA stated (pic credit: Tennet)

His Power Grid Action Plan precedes legislation, an amendment to the Grid Expansion Acceleration Act, which will be published later this autumn.

The initial plan highlights a need for better control of the grid through predictive measures and notifications when reinforcement measures are required.

It also aims to simplify planning procedures in Germany, including waiving federal planning when an existing route is already being used.

Altmaier added that faster grid expansion and optimisation of the power grid could also be incentivised economically.

"For a successful energy transition, we need modern and well-developed networks as well as the expansion of renewable energies.

"The power grids are the cardiovascular system of our power supply. This must work reliably from the wind turbines in the North Sea to the charging station in Bavaria," he said. 

However, he noted that north-south HVDC (high-voltage direct current) transmission lines will only be completed by 2025 "at the earliest".

"Germany is in arrears when expanding its networks," Altmaier added. 

The German wind energy association (BWE) welcomed Minister Altmaier’s decision to address the issue of network expansion. Its CEO Wolfram Axthelm said: "For years, BWE has been pointing out the need for these expansions.

"Therefore, we follow Altmaier’s Netzausbaureise (journey through Germany to better understand the problems of network expansion)."

He added: "We expect Altmaier to put his promises into action quickly, as the expansion is needed to transport wind energy from Germany’s north to the production- and energy-intensive centres in the south."

Minister Altmaier’s planned legislation comes after the cost of grid-stabilising measures reached an all-time high of €1.4 billion in 2017.

Announcing the cost increase in June, president of the BNA Jochen Homann said that only network expansion could reduce the cost of stabilising the grid.

More to follow...

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