The Bundesnetzagentur has confirmed the Electricity Network Development Plan 2023-2037/2045, which sets out the expansion measures urgently needed for the electricity transmission network.

"This is the first network development plan that presents the electricity network we need to complete the energy transition. We have carefully assessed all the projects that were proposed. We need to build a significant number of additional lines by 2045 to achieve a climate-neutral electricity system,"

said Klaus Müller, President of the Bundesnetzagentur.

"The network development plan only states where each line will start and end and not where it will actually run. This will be decided later on in the process."

Need for new power lines

The Electricity Network Development Plan 2023-2037/2045 includes around 4,800 kilometres of new lines to be built and about 2,500 kilometres of existing lines to be reinforced that are not in the current Federal Requirements Plan.

The Bundesnetzagentur has confirmed five new high-voltage direct-current transmission lines each with a capacity of 2 gigawatts:

DC32 from Schleswig-Holstein to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
DC35 from Lower Saxony to Hesse
DC40 from Lower Saxony to Saxony
DC41 from Lower Saxony to Baden-Württemberg
DC42 from Schleswig-Holstein to Baden-Württemberg.

Following publication of the preliminary assessment results, the transmission system operators responsible submitted extensions for projects DC42 and DC40, which the Bundesnetzagentur has also confirmed. In addition, the network development plan includes 116 alternating-current transmission lines that are not in the current Federal Requirements Plan.

The Bundesnetzagentur has also confirmed project P540 for an alternating-current line. The Bundesnetzagentur's calculations had shown that additional transmission capacity was needed to supply Bavaria. The transmission system operators responsible therefore submitted this project later on during the consultation period.

Offshore transmission links

The network development plan also includes the projects needed to link up offshore wind farms with the onshore transmission network.

The Bundesnetzagentur has confirmed the need for 35 additional projects in the North and Baltic Seas by 2045. The power lines will link up to 70 gigawatts of offshore capacity with the mainland. This is the target set in the Offshore Wind Energy Act. The Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency's site development plan states where the power lines will run. The network development plan identifies the points on the mainland where the electricity generated by the offshore wind farms can best be fed into the transmission network.

Assessment of likely environmental impact

The Bundesnetzagentur is currently working on an environmental report for the Federal Requirements Plan. The report sets out the likely environmental impact of the projects confirmed in the network development plan. It is due to be published at the end of May.

Widespread public participation

A ten-week public consultation process took place before establishing the requirements for new power lines. The Bundesnetzagentur received 162 responses, mostly from private individuals but also from representatives of politics, industry, science and civil society.

Background to the network development plan

The network development plan is drawn up by the four transmission system operators every two years and sets out the measures needed to optimise, reinforce and expand the extra-high voltage network to ensure secure and reliable operation. The Bundesnetzagentur assesses and confirms these proposals. The Federal Requirements Plan subsequently issued by the legislators lists the power line projects needed. In the case of new lines, it states where each line will start and end but not where it will actually run.

The draft Federal Requirements Plan is based on the network development plan and the environmental report. The legislators can make the projects binding by listing them in the Federal Requirements Plan, after which the detailed planning processes can begin.

Source: BNetzA