There will be only manageable delays caused by the change to underground cables. The largest grid development projects, such as SuedLink and SuedOstLink, were at an early stage of the planning when the changes were made. So the decision came at the right time.

In view of the fact that the new priority for underground cables has meant that the entire planning for ultra-high voltage direct current transmission system has to be changed, the Bundesnetzagentur has developed a position paper outlining the roles the transmission line operators must abide by when conducting this planning work. Public consultations were held in connection with this paper. Comments were made by authorities, associations, universities, companies and citizens' initiatives, and fed into the final version of the paper. The Bundesnetzagentur published the Position paper (in German language) (PDF, 894KB) in April 2016.