German regulator approves electricity grid improvements

09 January 2014 16:47 Source:ICIS

German regulator BNetzA has approved eight out of 10 offshore grid connection to wind farms and 56 out of 90 measures for grid development proposed in the 2013 grid development plan (NEP) and the offshore grid expansion plan (O-NEP).

“We have confirmed only those measures that we consider to be absolutely necessary over the next 10 or 20 years to guarantee reliable and secure operation of the grid,” BnetzA’s president Jochen Homann said in a statement on Wednesday.

However, the plans consists of expansion scenarios that have been agreed upon in consultation with the general public prior to the election and do not reflect the new targets laid out in the recent coalition treaty between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat Party and the Social Democrats.

“Long-term grid expansion planning is one of the objectives of the coalition agreement. This goal will be reflected in our annual process of re-evaluating the requirements on the basis of the prevailing conditions,” Homann said.

The new government is set to increase the share of renewable electricity in the power mix to 40% by 2020 from the 35% previously planned, but to cut offshore wind generation capacity goals and focus on onshore wind capacity growth in areas with high wind levels ( see EDEM 11 November 2013 ).

According to the German regulator more measures to strengthen the existing grid were approved than in the previous year, which emphasises the effort to improve the existing grid before building new infrastructure. The confirmed NEP 2013 includes 2.800km of grid improvement and some 2.650km of new infrastructure. Sonja Caymaz

By Sonja Caymaz