Grid operators adjust plans to coal exit, raise investment costs for future grid by 9 billion euros
Clean Energy Wire
Germany’s four transmission grid operators have presented the second draft of the 2030 Grid Development Plan (NEP), after incorporating suggestions from the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) and 906 comments from the public consultation process. In a press release, the grid operators said their scenario for grid expansion remains robust, even after incorporating the recommendations made by the government’s coal exit commission, including a phase-out of all coal-fired generation by 2038. Overall, between 1,600 and 1,700 km of new power lines are required by 2030, depending on the assumptions in the different scenarios. All scenarios showed a need for 12 gigawatts of large direct current transmission lines, the grid operators said, adding that stakeholder comments on these projects declined compared to the 2017 NEP. Overall investment costs for onshore grid development have increased to 61 billion euros in the second draft (from 52 billion in the first draft), the grid operators write, due to a considerably higher need for reactive power compensation, more power switching stations and an error in calculations for one of the direct current power lines.
The second draft of the NEP will now be checked by the Bundesnetzagentur and is subject to another consultation process before being finalised by the agency and voted on by parliament.
The currently planned grid expansion is lagging, due to citizen protests and planning difficulties, prompting parliament to pass a law to accelerate the building process.