Source: BMWi/Susanne Eriksson

© BMWi/Susanne Eriksson

In the context of his tour of Germany to study how the grid expansion is progressing, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier presented his Electricity Grid Action Plan at the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency) in Bonn today.

Federal Minister Altmaier said: "We need both modern, well-developed grids and the expansion of renewable energy if the energy transition is to succeed. The electricity grids are essential for our electricity supply. They must work reliably from the wind turbines in the North Sea to the charging stations in Bavaria. Germany is, however, lagging behind as regards the expansion of the grids. This causes costs for consumers. In the context of the Electricity Grid Action Plan, I therefore propose measures that will enable us to finally get going, perceptibly accelerate the grid expansion and upgrade existing grids. The revision of the Grid Expansion Acceleration Act, i.e. NABEG 2.0, this autum will streamline the planning procedures and make a considerable contribution to the success of the energy transition."

The Electricity Grid Action Plan pursues a twin-track strategy: improved internal auditing and the simplification of planning procedures aim to accelerate the grid expansion. At the same time, existing grids will be optimised by using new technologies and operating systems.

This includes the use of electricity cables that tolerate higher temperatures and voltages, and transformers that redirect electricity to grids with free capacities. In order to improve the internal auditing process, all players, grid operators and planning authorities, the Länder and the Bundesnetzagentur should agree on how to remove barriers to grid expansion. This should be stipulated in target agreements that clearly define who is to do what by when.

The revision of the Grid Expansion Acceleration Act will simplify the planning procedures and accelerate the procedures, e.g. by means of notification procedures for small-scale measures to strengthen existing grids and by dispensing with federal planning where an existing powerline is used. The revised Grid Expansion Acceleration Act will be presented in autumn 2018.

You can find the Electricity Grid Action Plan (in German) here.