Majority of rooftop solar to be in Germany's south and west, show power grid plans
Clean Energy Wire
By mapping the areas in Germany where renewable power is likely to be distributed in the future, energy researchers hope to help transmission system operators (TSOs) plan a forward-looking development of the grid. A report by research institute Fraunhofer IEE shows where wind energy and photovoltaic plants could be located across Germany in detail, as Germany aims to set aside two percent of its surface area for onshore wind power production by 2032. While areas on the coast such as the state of Schleswig-Holstein at the North Sea are already close to this target, the report’s authors expect other regions to see very little expansion, including the mid-western Rhine-Main metropolitan region and the Ruhr area. In the case of rooftop photovoltaics (PV), southern and western Germany show great potential, showed the report. For ground-mounted PV systems, expansion is expected alongside motorways and railways, as well as in Germany’s south.
To reach climate neutrality, Germany will need to electrify various carbon-intensive sectors such as heating and transport. This in turn will require a rapid expansion of renewable power production. “With our report, we are providing the TSOs with a detailed basis for the forward-looking development of the grid and for bringing renewables into a wider area,” Fraunhofer's Carsten Pape said. “This is how we help to make the energy transition plannable.” TSOs have presented their first draft of a 2037-45 grid development plan, describing — for the first time — a grid that is fit for overall climate neutrality 2045. This will require an additional investment of over 128 billion euros compared to earlier plans.