Network Development Plan for the Climate-Neutral Transmission Grid Confirmed

  • For the first time, the Federal Network Agency confirms more projects than actually envisaged in the second draft of the Network Development Plan (NDP)
  • Collaboration between electricity and gas TSOs to be intensified in the next NDP

Berlin/Dortmund/Bayreuth/Stuttgart. Following an intensive review and extensive public consultation, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has confirmed the latest Network Development Plan (NDP) drawn up by Germany’s four transmission system operators (TSOs) for electricity – 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT and TransnetBW. This current NDP contains scenarios for the years 2037 and 2045, and for the first time describes a transmission grid fit for a climate-neutral energy system. The BNetzA has confirmed more projects than were actually planned by the TSOs in their second draft.

With the NDP confirmation, the BNetzA has expanded two of the five new direct current connections by two gigawatts of capacity each. New grid connection points have been agreed for Sahms/Nord (Schleswig-Holstein) and Trennfeld (Bavaria) for DC42plus and for Dörpen (Lower Saxony) and Klostermansfeld (Saxony-Anhalt) for DC40plus. This will increase the transmission capacity southbound. The BNetzA has also newly confirmed 21 offshore grid connection systems. In order to optimally bundle onshore and offshore projects, the Agency has confirmed one more project than actually planned by the TSOs in the second draft of the NDP. Furthermore, the need for numerous new AC lines as well as the conversion and new construction of transformer stations was confirmed

This expansion of the transmission grid will help to reduce the high cost of redispatch measures in the medium to long term because more electricity can be transported from the generation centres to the consumption centresThe expansion of substations is designed to absorb and transport more and more decentralised and regionally generated renewable energy from distribution grid operators. It also serves to cover the increase in load forecast resulting from the sector coupling of heat and transport. In addition, numerous new frequency and voltage maintenance devices are required in the substations to ensure reliable grid operation.

The Network Development Plan that has now been confirmed serves as the basis for the Federal Requirements Plan. With the Federal Requirements Plan Act (BBPlG), the legislator establishes the energy industry necessity and priority requirements for the projects contained therein in a binding manner. The BBPlG is the legal mandate for the transmission system operators to implement these projects.

Current political decisions such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and the associated changes to the framework conditions will be incorporated into the future calculations of grid expansion requirements. The four TSOs are currently working on the scenario framework for the NDP 2025, which again looks at the 2037 and 2045 target years. The draft must be submitted to the BNetzA by 30 June 2024.

In future, the electricity, gas and hydrogen infrastructures must see greater integration and their planning must be increasingly coordinated. To this end, the transmission system operators in the electricity market are intensifying their collaboration with the gas TSOs. The development requirements of the electricity and gas grids will be worked out in a coordinated schedule from this year onwards.. Using the platform, major consumers can specify their electricity, gas and hydrogen requirements. This information is required by the gas and electricity TSOs for the demand-oriented planning of the electricity and gas infrastructure by 22 March 2024 so that it can be incorporated into the next NDP.

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