21 Jul 2021, 13:25
Kerstine Appunn

Grid operators push for social consensus on renewables infrastructure ahead of elections

Clean Energy Wire

German politicians, nature conservationists, renewable energy associations and grid operators must do more to enable the necessary infrastructure expansion for renewable energies, eight major German power grid operators have said. In a paper listing their demands to a future government after the September general election, the operators called on the various groups to “rethink the relationship between climate protection and nature conservation and bring about a broad social consensus”. Transmission grid operators TenneT, 50Hertz, Amprion and TransnetBW, together with EWE Netz, E.ON Netz, Stromnetz Berlin and Netze BW, are expecting a future with more than 50 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity, well over 100 GW of onshore wind, and more than 300 GW of solar PV in Germany in 2045. This will require a faster integration of these renewable energies into the electricity supply system than previously planned. The eight grid operators propose accelerated planning and approval procedures to ensure a quicker grid expansion as well as combined scenarios for all sectors essential for the energy system, so that infrastructure planning can be as efficient as possible.

A growing number of fluctuating renewable power sources, which are required to meet Germany’s climate targets, is putting pressure on the German electricity grid. To ensure that wind power from the north of the country reaches the industrial centres in the south, several major direct current power connections are planned for construction. However, approval procedures have been slow and subject to citizen protests, meaning that completion could be delayed by several years.

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