29 Apr 2024, 13:25
Carolina Kyllmann

German network agency approves route for first section of key north-south power grid line

Clean Energy Wire

The German network agency BNetzA has approved the route for the first section the key electricity transmission power line SuedOstLink, which is set to transport offshore wind power from the country's north and east to industry centres further south. "This marks another important milestone in the expansion of electricity transmission capacity between northern and southern Germany," BNetzA head Klaus Müller said. The converter of SuedOstLink, built near Landshut in the southern state of Bavaria, marks the end point of the 538-kilometre transmission line. It will service several nearby industry centres, including Munich and Ingolstadt. The project was delayed by several years following heavy resistance, which was especially fierce in Bavaria, with the state government insisting for a long time that the main transmission line be built outside its own territory.

The expansion of the country’s power grid is one of the most important measures for enabling Germany's transition towards a renewables-based electricity system. However, the buildout has stalled for several years, primarily due to heavy resistance from local residents and other interest groups that have held up the implementation of the crucial energy transition project with lawsuits and protests. A lack of grid capacity led to an increase in so-called re-dispatch measures in Germany in 2023, with about 19 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity lost to curtailments last year. The government is working to bring electricity transmission capacity to scale by reducing bureaucracy and plans to ensure that renewable power is being used rather than curtailed.

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