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14 Aug 2019, 11:53
Freja Eriksen

German power grid expansion makes 'slow progress' with 6,600 kilometres to go

dpa / Handelsblatt

Expansion of the German power grid is "progressing slowly", in the words of transmission system operator TenneT, with so far only 1,100 of the planned 7,700 kilometres completed, according to a report by news agency dpa carried by Handelsblatt. Of the remaining 6,600 kilometres of transmission lines, 700 have been approved but are not yet being built, 4,600 are in the approval process and 1,300 kilometres are not yet in the approval process, the German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) told dpa. TenneT suggested that "less bureaucracy and fast procedures" could speed up network expansion. Amprion, another TSO, pointed out that individual interests of local actors often rated higher than the "common interest of the energy revolution", citing anti-expansion initiatives as an underlying reason for the lagging expansion.

In its annual report published in May, BNetzA stated that grid expansion was "not progressing as fast as necessary", even though Germany's states and the federal government said they reached a breakthrough in negotiations in early June. The extension of long-distance transmission lines is seen as one of the greatest obstacles to Germany reaching its target of increasing the share of renewables in power consumption to 65 percent by 2030. Planned new transmission lines have been met with opposition from residents and local politicians who argue that they are a health hazard and could lower property prices in their vicinity.

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