German farmers demand increased compensation for hosting grid infrastructure
The German government aims to rapidly expand the power grid to keep up with the planned transition to renewable energy, but farmers say new infrastructure could damage valuable crop land, Florence Schulz reports for Euractiv Germany. Farming groups say cables buried under agricultural land could damage the soil for years to come, and are lobbying for higher -- and recurrent -- compensation payments, instead of the current one-off payments.
German grid operators have said the country will need thousands of kilometers of new power lines to meet green energy needs, and this month unveiled their proposal for a north-south electricity link to bring power from the renewable-rich north to power-hungry cities in the south. The plan has met some opposition from local and community groups. New legislation proposed by energy minister Peter Altmaier to accelerate grid expansion does include harmonised compensation payments to landowners across Germany and premiums if planning procedures are fast-tracked, but no recurring payments.