News Digest Item
19 Nov 2018

CSU’s new coalition partner Free Voters of Bavaria rejects key grid expansion plans

Süddeutsche Zeitung

The Free Voters, new coalition partners in Bavaria, Germany’s southern economic powerhouse state, reject important grid expansion plans that are meant to improve the distribution of electricity from renewable power sources across the country, Claudia Henzler writes in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “We need to re-launch the Energiewende [Germany’s energy transition]” and “make it a top priority to avoid grid expansion so that we’ll need as little new lines possible,” said Free Voters head and new Bavarian economy minister Hubert Aiwanger during a visit by federal economy minister Peter Altmaier to one of the planned construction sites for new power transmission lines in Bavaria. The Free Voters party leader said that grids had to become more flexible through digitalisation and called for expanding decentralised power production with more renewable sources built near where it is consumed. This clashes with policies of the Free Voters’ bigger coalition partner CSU, which had introduced greater minimum distances from residential areas for new wind turbines, thereby keeping wind power expansion down in the state. Federal minister Altmaier argued that while more renewable capacity was desirable, the construction of major power lines could not be avoided.

Find the article in German here.

Find background in the article New “Power Grid Action Plan“ to accelerate network development, the dossier The energy transition and Germany’s power grid and the factsheet Facts on the German state elections in Bavaria.

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