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Bundesnetzagentur launches consultation on grid expansion

Vice President Peter Franke: "All current projects still necessary for the energy transition to succeed"

Year of issue 2019
date of issue 2019.08.06

The Bundesnetzagentur has today started consulting on its assessment of the German grid expansion proposals for the period up to 2030 proposed by the transmission system operators (TSOs).

"With the information available today, it is not possible to confirm many of the proposed expansion projects. In particular, at the moment we do not see the need to have another electricity highway to Baden-Württemberg. According to our current assessment, a line from Schleswig-Holstein to North Westphalia will suffice," explained Peter Franke, Bundesnetzagentur Vice President and added, "What is more, our initial analyses show that the grid expansion measures will still be necessary even after a complete phase-out of coal by 2038"

Network development plan includes need for new power lines

The electricity network development plan 2019-2030 contains the expansion of the German transmission system necessary to ensure a secure electricity supply up to the year 2030. It also includes the planning for the offshore transmission links, replacing the previous offshore network development plan. Calculations are based on the federal government's target of raising renewable energy to 65% of the electricity mix by 2030.

The TSOs held a public consultation on their draft network development plan and then revised it. The Bundesnetzagentur is currently evaluating the proposed measures and has now published its preliminary results for consultation.

The authority currently considers 96 of the 164 measures proposed by the TSOs for the period up to 2030 to be necessary. Initial calculations by the Bundesnetzagentur indicate that these projects will be necessary even if there is a complete phase-out of coal by 2038.

There are 56 expansion measures in addition to those laid down by law in the Federal Requirements Plan. At the present time, 68 measures are classed as not eligible for confirmation.
The Bundesnetzagentur assessment shows that further transmission links in the North Sea and Baltic Sea will be needed to connect offshore wind farms to the grid.

Additional DC line necessary

The TSOs have proposed an additional direct current corridor between Schleswig-Holstein and Baden-Württemberg, passing through North Rhine-Westphalia. The Bundesnetzagentur's current assessments indicate that only a DC connection between Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia will be necessary. In addition, alternating current connections must also be upgraded or newly established.

Assessment of probable environmental impact

Alongside the preliminary results of its evaluation of the network development plans, the Bundesnetzagentur has published a draft environmental report, which describes and assesses the likely environmental impact of the grid expansion projects. Alternatives to individual measures are also assessed and compared in the environmental report.

Documents and further information online

The network development plan, the preliminary evaluation results and the draft environmental report are available online at and at the Bundesnetzagentur's offices in Bonn until 17 September 2019.

All interested parties can submit their comments by 16 October 2019.

Explanatory films about the network development plan can be found on YouTube at

Bundesnetzagentur information events

The Bundesnetzagentur will hold information events alongside the consultation process to maintain a dialogue with the public about the need for the grid expansion.

Events are planned for 3 September in Bremen, 4 September in Münster, 5 September in Mannheim, 10 September in Regensburg and 11 September in Erfurt.

Press release (pdf / 15 KB)