Underground Cable Provisions in Energy Line Extension Act Amended

The Bundestag (German Parliament) yesterday approved an amendment of the Energy Line Extension Act (Gesetz zum Ausbau von Energieleitungen – Energieleitungsausbaugesetz – EnLAG) to facilitate underground cable pilot projects.

The amendment was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi). It shall speed up planning and permit procedures for 4 pilot projects for underground extra high voltage cables. The amendment shall provide more powers to state authorities to decide when underground cables shall be used.

Details of this amendment of the EnLAG were not discussed in wider circles. The amendment was introduced to the parliamentary procedure only on 26 January as part of an otherwise unrelated procedure to change other laws. The Bundestag voted on the proposal on 27 January without further discussion.

Lower Saxony’s Minister of the Environment Hans-Heinrich Sander considers the amendment a great success for Lower Saxony, and thanked Minister Brüderle as well as the FDP and CDU/CSU members of the Bundestag for their support.

There are some doubts as to whether this amendment will really lead to an acceleration, in particular for projects that are already further along in the planning process.

Sources: Press release BMWi, Bundestags-Drucksache 17/4559; Press release MU Lower Saxony

Related posts: