So far, the expansion of the high-voltage lines through Germany has been sluggish. The Federal Network Agency has now announced that thousands of new kilometers of power lines are to be approved by 2025.
According to the Federal Network Agency, there will be progress in the coming years in the expansion of the so-called “electricity highways” across Germany. The federal authority announced that by the end of 2024, 2,800 kilometers and a year later 4,400 kilometers of high-voltage lines would have been approved. It is currently 440 kilometers.
Green electricity throughout Germany
“We are making good progress and are using all opportunities to speed up the process,” said Netzagentur boss Klaus Müller. According to the federal government, the growing share of renewable energies in electricity production means new challenges for the grid reach consumers.
The “electricity highways” are intended to connect the windy north with the industrially strong west and south of Germany and thereby ensure the distribution of green electricity throughout Germany. Because wind power is primarily generated in the north and east as well as at sea, where the wind is particularly strong. The largest electricity consumers, such as large industrial companies, are often located in southern and western Germany.
So far, progress has only been “visible in individual line sections,” said Müller, with a view to the currently still low number of approved routes. “But from next year we will be issuing building permits on a large scale.”
14,000 kilometers are missing
According to the federal government, the German electricity transmission network is around 35,000 kilometers long. In addition, private households, commercial enterprises and industry are supplied with electricity around the clock.
It will be some time before the permits for construction and commissioning are granted. A total of around 14,000 kilometers of high-voltage lines are to be built in Germany in the coming years. The Federal Network Agency is responsible for the larger projects that run through several federal states. The other routes are a matter for the state authorities.
Planned lines mostly underground
Most “electricity highways” will run underground. Nevertheless, in some places there is criticism and concerns from citizens’ initiatives, which have threatened lawsuits. This is one reason why the expansion of high-voltage lines in Germany, which has long been demanded by federal politicians and the economy, has been progressing rather slowly so far.
In comparison to overhead lines, underground cables are usually more expensive. These additional costs are borne by the network users, i.e. the economy and all consumers – via the so-called network charges. .