BNetzA Starts Consultation on Electricity Grid Development Plan 2012

The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has started a public consultation on the Electricity Grid Development Plan 2012 (NEP 2012) as drawn up by the four German transmission system operators. The public is asked to comment by 2 November 2012. The respective documents as well as a preliminary assessment and an environmental report can be found online.

NEP 2012, the first of its kind, describes the need for modernisation, enhancement and extension of the electricity transmission networks over the next ten years and gives an outlook until 2032. The main aim is to have safe and reliable grids, which can keep up with the energy policy shift towards a renewable energy supply, BNetzA points out. NEP 2012 is based on the scenario framework for grid development as approved in December last year.

It will be interesting to see to what extent the public consultation will bring fresh input. According to Section 12c German Energy Act (EnWG), BNetzA can demand changes. If approved by BNetzA, NEP 2012 will be handed over to the government and the federal legislator. It serves as a draft for the “Federal Requirement Plan for Transmission Networks” (Bundesbedarfsplan Übertragungsnetze – Section 12e EnWG). In April Chancellor Angela Merkel said she wanted to pass the law on the requirement plan by the end of the year.

The Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) demanded that the Federal Requirement Plan be swiftly passed. The association also pointed out that not only transmission networks needed expansion, but also the distribution networks. Most of the solar power plants and 90% of the wind turbines were connected to the distribution grids, BDEW said (for the BDEW study on the need for modernisation of the distribution networks see here; the German Energy Agency dena is also in the process of conducting a study on the expansion of the distribution networks).

For organisational considerations, to improve consultation processes and to take better account of the Ten Year Network Development Plan, which is presented every two years by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), BDEW proposed to set up further electricity grid development plans not on an annual basis but every two years.

Source: Federal Network Agency; BDEW