26 Jan 2022, 13:15
Sören Amelang

Gas, power, hydrogen infrastructure planning must be combined – German agency

Clean Energy Wire

The separate planning procedures for electricity, gas, and hydrogen infrastructure must be combined to pave the way towards a low-carbon economy, Germany's energy agency (dena) has said in a report. "Since the transformation extends across all sectors, it is no longer sufficient to plan the infrastructures for electricity, gas and, prospectively, hydrogen independently of each other," dena said in a report following a dialogue with grid operators, energy companies, public authorities, policymakers and civil society. "Integrated planning of energy infrastructures is necessary to meet the requirements of a climate-neutral energy system."
The agency said planning procedures for separate energy infrastructures should be preceded by an additional step looking at the overall system to create a common basis. "An upstream system development planning process complements the existing energy infrastructure planning processes with the aim of creating a consistent and coordinated framework." Broad public participation should legitimise this system development plan, which should also include a step to ensure innovations can be put to use as early as possible, dena said.  

Despite various attempts to simplify planning procedures, lagging infrastructure expansion has become a key hurdle for Germany's energy transition. The new government's more ambitious climate targets have added urgency to the problem: It plans to increase the share of renewables in the country's power use to 80 percent by 2030, and aims to pull forward the coal exit to that date.

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