18 Dec 2020, 14:11
Kerstine Appunn

Germany needs integrated network planning for electricity and gas – study

Clean Energy Wire / Tagesspiegel Background

The separate planning procedures for Germany’s grid infrastructure for electricity, gas and hydrogen are not suitable for the long-term planning of an integrated energy system, the German Energy Agency (dena) says in a new report. The agency therefore advocates a new “system development plan” to ensure “that the various infrastructures are further developed in a coordinated manner that is suitable for energy use and cost-efficient".
As Germany is preparing for a net-zero emissions future, the distribution and storage of renewable power, which will be needed in industry, transport and for heating to substitute fossil fuels, is crucial. A good example is the 20 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity that the government has planned, Michael Ritzau, co-author of the report, told Christian Schaudwet of energy policy newsletter Tagesspiegel Background. Since all this power couldn’t be used in the northern coastal regions, the question would be whether to transport via the electricity grid, store it as power-to-gas or use it for heating, Ritzau said.

So far, electricity grid operators and gas grid operators are still preparing separate planning documents, with the latter not including Germany’s climate targets in their suggestions, NGO Environmental Action Germany (DUH) has criticised. Gas transmission grid operators announced this week that they are starting preparations for the framework of their 2022-2032 grid planning and will, as of January 2021, gather data on future generation of hydrogen and other green gases so that the grid plan could be adjusted accordingly.

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