Merkel: Massive Investments in German Grid Necessary

On the last leg of her “Energy Tour” through Germany, Chancellor Andrea Merkel called for a massive expansion of the German grid.

She was concered that grid expansion lagged behind the progress of the different energy sources, Mrs Merkel said. It is for example not possible to transmit wind power from Northern to Southern Germany.  Hence, Germany had to be prepared to invest considerable amounts of money in new grid infrastructure.

Mrs Merkel demanded a “national willingness”  to allow grid expansion. She was upset about the many efforts to obstruct expansion. A new grid infrastructure was needed to accommodate fluctuating energy amounts from renewables. “Those who are opposed to grid expansion prevent us from reaching the age of renewables”, Mrs Merkel warned.

Mrs Merkel did not say whether the government wants to oblige the four major utilities and nuclear power plant operators to invest in grid expansion, Handelsblatt says. E.ON, however, sold its grid to the Dutch grid operator Tennet last November.

Contributions of the Big Four in return for a possible extension of the operating times of their nuclear power plants have been fiercely discussed in the past weeks.

Last Friday, the government received an expert opinion on the consequences of a 4, 12 and 28-year extension. The government wants to give an assessment on Monday. It reportedly plans to decide about the future energy concept on 28 September 2010.

Source: Handelsblatt

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