Graichen: Planning transmission grids and distribution grids more integrated

In addition to expanding renewables, Graichen sees faster grid expansion as a top priority. To this end, the BMWK would like to establish the federal requirements plan with the announced Easter legislative package. He sees the scenario framework recently presented by the Federal Network Agency for the Network Development Plan (NEP) 2035 as a good basis for this, because it is already geared towards the planned 80 percent share of green electricity by 2030.

However, the current NDP for electricity and gas would have to be supplemented by a system development plan (SEP) with a comprehensive view of the targeted climate neutrality in 2045, emphasized Graichen. It is also important to take into account the interlocking with the hydrogen networks and the distribution network level (including heating networks). However, with this additional planning step, it is important to keep an eye on the necessary acceleration of the process, according to the State Secretary. He believes that a SEP by 2024 is ripe for decision.

Build electrolysers in northern Germany

Graichen once again underlined the need to speed up and streamline the approval procedures for network expansion. He sees important levers for this in the merging of federal sectoral planning with planning approval, the standardization of species protection requirements and the increase in personnel capacities in the responsible authorities and courts.

“What is currently laid out in the EnWG for network planning is not yet sufficient,” emphasized Graichen. He sees it as an important task to define the locations of the electrolysers for the planned ramp-up of the hydrogen market. Graichen is in favor of establishing locations in northern Germany in order to be able to use excess wind power offshore and onshore there and to minimize the additional transport requirements of the electricity highways to the south.

Improve cooperation between the transmission and distribution grid levels

Graichen also underlined the preference of the BMWK to use hydrogen primarily for industrial applications as well as shipping and air traffic and less for heating single-family homes via admixture to the gas distribution networks.

Graichen also considers forward-looking, integrated network planning between the transmission and distribution network levels to be crucial. “There are many things that need to be done,” he said. “We have to see that we can do this cooperation better,” said Graichen. There have been initial approaches to this in recent years, but these must now be brought to a permanent and stable level.

Greater importance of the distribution grids in the course of the energy transition

Graichen emphasized that the distribution grids became increasingly important as a result of the energy transition because they shouldered the majority of the desired expansion of photovoltaics and onshore wind. In addition, there would be the many new consumers within the framework of sector coupling, be it e-vehicles or heat pumps at the distribution network level. (hcn)

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