22 Jan 2024, 14:04
Julian Wettengel

German retailers criticise delayed grid connections for EV charging points and solar PV

Clean Energy Wire / WirtschaftsWoche

German retailers say that significant delays in connecting new electric vehicle (EV) charging points and solar PV installations to the local electricity grid are putting the brakes on the country’s shift towards renewables. It can take up to 18 months for a grid connection to be set up, retailer association HDE said in a press release. "More and more frequently, distribution grid operators are even refusing to connect to the grid altogether, citing a lack of grid capacity," HDE managing director Stefan Genth said. The association also called for unified specifications by the hundreds of local grid operators. Business weekly WirtschaftsWoche cited local grid operators confirming that the processing time for grid connections is currently long. However, federal grid regulator BNetzA told the newspaper this should not remain a problem, as new federal legislation would soon be enacted.

Germany's lagging electricity grid expansion remains a key hurdle for the shift to renewables, both regarding large-scale power lines meant to transmit wind power from the country's coastal states to the southern industrial hubs, and regarding the local grid. BNetzA recently said grid operators are allowed to temporarily throttle electricity supply to heat pumps and electric vehicle charging points to maintain grid stability from January 2024. In return, distribution grid operators will not be allowed to refuse or delay the connection of new heat pumps or charging stations, arguing that possible bottlenecks could arise with the new installations.

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