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German Grid Operators Unveil €128 Billion Plan For Green Energy Shift

According to Germany’s high voltage grid firms, the country will need to construct 14,197 kilometers of power transmission lines, costing billions of euros to enable the shift to net-zero.

The companies have presented a rolling development plan for public consultation that calls for an additional investment of €128.3 billion ($137.72 billion) until 2045, with some measures completed as early as 2037.

The development plan is broken down into €41.6 billion for onshore and €86.7 billion for offshore measures. It will require 5,742 km of onshore cables, 8,455 km of offshore cables. 

The consultation period on the plan will run until April 25.

The four companies involved in the initiative are Amprion, 50Hertz, TenneT, and TransnetBW. 

Germany aims to generate 80% of its 2030 power output from renewables like wind and solar energy, enabling it to meet a target of a 65% reduction in overall CO2 emissions compared with 1990.

Berlin plans for the power sector to be 100% green by 2035 while assuming a doubling of power demand by 2045. The TSOs believe that to achieve this, installed power capacity must rise five-fold from today's level to reach 700 GW in 2045, with several grid measures initially planned for 2045 potentially brought forward.

Power grids will be extended to reach green energy sites and transmit their output, connecting the industrial south to northern wind power and linking new electrolysis plants that produce green hydrogen from electricity.

Consumers will mainly shoulder the costs operators incur through grid usage fees, which comprise approximately a quarter of electricity bills. The looming costs have prompted the government to divest its stake in the German TenneT division.

In conclusion, Germany's high-voltage grid firms are calling for a significant investment in new networks to accommodate the country's shift to zero-carbon energy. While this move towards renewable energy is necessary, it comes at a high cost, with consumers footing most of the bill. Nonetheless, the country's aim to achieve 100% green power by 2035, with the doubling of power demand by 2045, requires a considerable investment to ensure the stable performance of the grids.

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By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com 

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