05 Aug 2019, 13:09
Freja Eriksen

Grid agency to further limit new wind turbines in northern Germany due to lagging grid expansion – media

Frankfurter Rundschau

Sluggish power grid expansion means fewer wind turbines are to be constructed in the windy regions of northern Germany, according to a draft plan by the German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), reports Frank-Thomas Wenzel in Frankfurter Rundschau. In Hamburg, Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and parts of Lower Saxony, the total limit for annual added capacity is to be lowered from 902 megawatt (MW) to 786 MW from January 2020, writes Wenzel. "The limitation of the tender quantities in the grid expansion area is temporary and should serve to prevent grid bottlenecks from getting worse," the BNetzA writes in its draft plan. In its 2017 reform of the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG 2017), the federal government decided that the expansion of onshore wind should be limited in certain northern regions, where a high input of renewable power cannot be transported because of bottlenecks in the power grid. If the government were to follow the BNetzA proposal, “it will paralyse the crucial powerhouse of the energy transition in the north”, said Julia Verlinden, energy policy spokesperson of the Greens’ parliamentary group.

The German government coalition has decided to expand the share of renewables in power consumption to 65 percent by 2030. Germany needs major new cross-country power connections in order to transport wind energy from the north to the industrial heartlands in the western and southern parts of the country. With a recent "acceleration law", the energy ministry wants to make certain that the necessary lines are completed by 2025 to reduce costly stabilisation procedures due to blockages in the grid. BNetzA’s plan to further limit the number of new turbines comes at a time when onshore wind power expansion in Germany is already threatening to grind to a halt. Economy minister Peter Altmaier has invited the wind power industry to a crisis meeting in September.

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