20 Jan 2023, 13:17
Julian Wettengel

Power grid delays are key hurdle to securing business location Bavaria – industry

Clean Energy Wire

Transforming Germany’s energy system to achieve climate neutrality is key to securing industry competitiveness in the southern state Bavaria, but delays in expanding the national power grid is are major hurdle, said Bavarian industry association vbw. “The energy transition is a top priority not only for the climate, but also for the competitiveness of our business location,” said vbw head Bertram Brossardt. He added that if the energy crisis was the “mother of all crises”, then the energy transition should be seen as the “mother of all crisis solutions”. However, delays of key power transmission lines from Germany’s wind-rich north to the south has threatened supply security in Bavaria, said Brossardt.

The industry association presented its 11th report which monitors the energy transition throughout the state and nationwide, which was prepared by consultancy Prognos. The report — which looks at the pre-energy-crisis status of 2021 — showed little progress, with almost all indicators (affordability, energy efficiency and renewables, environmental impact, supply security) on red – the lowest rating. “Where we are really good, Europe-wide and worldwide, is our low power interruption duration per customer,” said Prognos director Almut Kirchner. This gave Germany “a good starting position” with a highly stable grid, even with a record share of renewables in electricity consumption. “If you had said 20 years ago that we would have 50 percent renewables in the mix today, we would have been called crazy.” However, she called the grid expansion delay “the most depressing result” of the report, causing “billions of euros” in re-dispatch costs which “one could do better things with”. Kirchner warned that key north-south lines would not be ready before 2027 or 2028, three years later than planned.

Germany’s power grid ranks among the most reliable in the world, despite the increasing share of fluctuating renewable energy sources, but expansion has been lagging for years. With Germany’s goal of becoming climate neutral brought forward to 2045, more and more sectors will depend on electricity as their main energy supply. But building new powerlines has proved a fraught process, plagued by public resistance.

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