German states and federal government reach agreement on key grid expansion measures
dpa / Welt Online
Several German states and the federal government have reached an agreement on key aspects of the country’s much-needed transmission grid expansion, news agency dpa reports in an article published on Welt Online. Together with state ministers from Bavaria, Thuringia and Hesse, Germany’s economy and energy minister Peter Altmaier agreed that grid expansion will be limited to the “necessary level” and be carried out in a “citizen-friendly way” by placing long stretches of the power lines in the ground. Altmaier called the agreement a “decisive breakthrough” for the energy transition, whose success hinges on a modernised grid that is capable of distributing electricity generated with intermittent renewable energy sources across the country.
The expansion of the long-distance transmission lines that are needed to transport wind power from the country’s windy coastal zones in the north to industrial centres in the south is seen as one of the biggest obstacles for successful emissions reduction and energy transition progress in Germany. Construction of the transmission lines, dubbed SuedLink and SuedOstLink, is way behind schedule and has been met with heavy resistance by local residents as well as by regional politicians who demand the lines be constructed underground and not cut through residential areas.