19 Mar 2020, 13:13
Sören Amelang

One fifth of Germany's grid extensions to heavily impact environment – grid agency

Clean Energy Wire

Two thirds of the massive grid extensions planned in Germany will have only minor impacts on the environment, but almost a fifth of measures will likely have a heavy impact, according to a report compiled by the country's grid agency (BNetzA). Measures with little impact mainly include steps to strengthen the existing network by adding or changing cables. In contrast, the construction of entirely new long-distance connections, underground cables, and many offshore wind farm connections that cross the protected areas of the highly sensitive Wadden Sea are expected to have a "high" or even "very high" environmental impact. The BNetzA's environmental report considers the effects of network development on human health, animals, plants, and biodiversity in the soil, water, and air.

Germany’s switch to renewable power requires major additions to its existing power grid, especially new connections to carry wind power from the windy North of the country to industrial centres in the South. But building them has proved a fraught process, plagued by public resistance, while the current underdeveloped grid is already costing consumers hundreds of millions of euros every year.

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