BNetzA Starts Consultation on Scenario Frameworks for Electricity Grid Development Plans 2015/2025

The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has started the consultation process for the Onshore Electricity Grid Development Plan 2015/2025 (NEP 2015/2025) and the Offshore Electricity Grid Development Plan 2015/2025 (Offshore NEP 2015/2025). The plans were drawn up by the transmission system operators (TSOs) and describe the assumed development of installed renewable and conventional power plant capacity and the energy consumption in the coming ten respectively twenty years. BNetzA pointed out that the new expansion targets for renewable energy laid down in the draft bill for an overhaul of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) were taken into consideration. The public is asked to comment by 23 June 2014.

1. Legal Background

According to Sections 12b and 17b German Energy Act (EnWG), the transmission system operators have to submit by 3 March each year a National (Onshore) Electricity Grid Development Plan and an Offshore Electricity Grid Development Plan. The plans have to provide information on the measures considered necessary for optimizing, reinforcing and expanding the grid to ensure safe and reliable operation in line with demand over the next ten years. They have to be approved by BNetzA. At least every three years BNetzA has to submit the plans to the federal legislator (cf. Section 12e para. 1 sent. 1 EnWG). They serve as drafts for the “Federal Requirement Plan for Transmission Networks” (Bundesbedarfsplan Übertragungsnetze; regarding the first such plan, please see here). The so-called scenario frameworks like the ones for the period 2015 to 2025, which are now up for consultation, are in turn the basis for the onshore and offshore grid development plans. They have to be prepared annually by the TSOs and need approval by BNetzA, who has to take the results of the consultation into consideration (cf. Section 12a para. 3 EnWG). Pursuant to Section 12a para. 1 sent. 2 EnWG, the scenario framework comprises at least three scenarios that cover the spectrum of the assumed (grid) development in view of the medium and long-term goals of the government. One of the scenarios has to show developments over a twenty year period.

2. Onshore and Offshore Electricity Grid Development Plans 2015 to 2025 (respectively 2035)

The three scenarios created by the TSOs describe the assumed development of installed renewable and conventional power plant capacity and the energy consumption until 2025 respectively 2035 taking into consideration the expansion targets for renewable energy laid down in the draft bill for an overhaul of the renewables law (EEG), i.e. a share in the energy mix of 40% to 45% by 2025 and of 55% to 60% by 2035. Consequently the assumed share of renewables in gross electricity consumption is roughly 40% by 2025 in Scenario A, 45% in Scenario B and 47% in Scenario C.

The TSOs recommend a change of method of the regional distribution for new power plants (so-called regionalization). It will apply in particular to onshore wind power plants whose regionalisation is based on existing wind priority zones and areas suitable for wind power (Windvorrangs- und Windeignungsflächen).

“The proposed changes do not put into question the general need for measures contained in the Federal Requirement Plan, but can contribute to further developing the methodology of grid planning”, Jochen Homann, President of BNetzA commented.

Together with the scenario framework BNetzA published a consultation document concerning aspects on which BNetzA hopes to receive comments and information.

Onshore and Offshore Electricity Grid Development Plans 2014

Regarding the Onshore and Offshore Electricity Grid Development Plans 2014 (to 2024), please click here.

Source: Federal Network Agency, press release, scenario framework and accompanying document

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