Germany needs to expand electricity grid despite lower renewable targets

16 April 2014 18:24 Source:ICIS

Germany’s electricity grid still requires major expansion, despite the newly proposed reduction of the country’s renewable energy targets, an analysis by Germany’s grid operators concludes.

Grid operators 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT and TransnetBW submitted the first draft of onshore and offshore grid expansion plans to German regulator BNetzA on Wednesday, and made the plans available for consultation to form a second draft, which will then be evaluated by BNetzA by the end of 2014.

No reduction is expected for onshore grid requirements and the focal point will remain the North-South interconnectors.

However, a scenario with lower targets for installed offshore wind power capacity combined with direct marketing of renewables, close to what is foreseen by the newly reformed government’s renewable plans, will allow for more time to implement new grid infrastructure in the North Sea, the report states.

The grid would still need a total of 10GW worth of transmission lines for all DC corridors.

“If it [grid expansion] continues to remain behind the tempo of the roll-out of renewable energy capacity, the aims of the Energiewende and supply security will remain at risk,” the grid operators said in a statement.

The grid operators are planning to publish another analysis outlining the possible impact that firmer European emissions certificates could have on the scenario outlined in the draft.

Revised renewable targets.

In April the German government voted in favour of an auctioning system for new renewable power capacity by 2017 to replace the current feed-in tariff subsidy scheme. Annual capacity growth targets for each solar and onshore wind power have been set at 2.5GW each.

Offshore wind power targets were scaled down from 10GW to 6.5GW by 2020, with an additional 1GW coming online each year until 2024 ( see EDEM 08 April 2014 ).

An official implementation of the new system could happen in August. Sonja Caymaz

By Sonja Caymaz