01 Dec 2022, 13:22
Julian Wettengel

Govt explores buying stake in German unit of grid operator TenneT – report

Clean Energy Wire / Reuters

The German government wants to buy either a majority stake or even all of the German subsidiary of Dutch power grid operator TenneT, two government sources told news agency Reuters. Germany announced in 2020 that it wanted to buy a stake in TenneT, but talks had reportedly stalled due to disagreements over the extent of German government involvement. The economy ministry declined to comment, but minister Robert Habeck was asked about the reported negotiations at a press conference. “For TenneT, there are talks to analyse the financial situation for the German business anew,” said Habeck, adding that he was not allowed to comment further. However, Habeck said he thinks it is “politically attractive to explore” the possibility for the public sector to “play its part in the creation of a public infrastructure and, in a certain sense, to live the responsibility.”

It would be the second state investment of this kind after KfW bought into the East German grid company 50Hertz four years ago, in order to prevent the Chinese state-owned electricity company SGCC from entering the market. Germany's four transmission grid operators are tasked with expanding the country's power grid to enable an increased use of renewable energy sources, in particular wind power from the north of the country that is needed in the industrial centres of the south. However, many of the new lines are behind schedule because of long planning procedures.

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