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14 Mar 2019, 13:52
Benjamin Wehrmann

Southern German states pass the buck to each other on grid expansion

Frankfurter Rundschau

The southern German states of Hesse and Bavaria are passing the buck to each other on who should provide its territory for completing much-needed grid expansion plans, Pitt von Bebenburg writes in the Frankfurter Rundschau. Hesse’s Green economy minister Tarek al-Wazir said the planned route through his federal state was “an exclusively political decision” that does not reflect any technical necessities. An alternative route leading through Bavaria would be over 100 million euros cheaper to build, al-Wazir said, adding that Bavaria “revolts against almost any grid expansion project and expects to get a reward for that”. Al-Wazir said his administration was “a big advocate of the energy transition” but also “no fools” and therefore insists on a solid technical justification for the transmission line’s final route. In 2015, Bavarian opposition overturned plans for a route that would run through its own territory and insisted that a different route through Hesse was considered. “If a transmission line is necessary and the best route is through Hesse, we will not put that into question”, al-Wazir said, adding that “we expect everyone else to do the same”.
The expansion of Germany’s electricity grid to allow the transmission of large volumes of renewable power from the windy north to industrial centres in the south is one of the German Energiewende’s greatest challenges. The planned transmission lines are slated for completion by 2025 but continuous opposition by residents as well as by local politicians against the large-scale infrastructure project make compliance with this timetable uncertain.

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