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Too early for German power market split debate – Green MP

PowerRenewablesPolicy

04 Jun 2021 10:15

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Berlin

04 Jun 2021 10:15

(Montel) Starting a debate over a power market split in Germany would be too early as the next German government will first need to address the country’s grid expansion, a Green MP told Montel.

“There has to be made a decision over the next years. We will need to expand the power grid much more than currently planned if we want to keep the single price zone,” said Ingrid Nestle, a politician and energy industry expert with the German Greens.

After the federal election in September, the next German government needed to launch an intensive debate over grid expansion targets reflecting the country’s goals of 100% renewables power generation and carbon neutrality in 2045, she said.

“This will make it easier to decide on how much grid do we want to build, how many lines – or do we maybe prefer to split the price zone?”

Nestle was the lead writer in a recent German Greens power market strategy paper which mulled the introduction of an additional power price zone as a possible solution to help ease grid bottlenecks.

So far, Germany lags far behind its own grid expansion targets with more than 10,000 km of projects and the launch of a major line between northern and southern Germany – the 4 GW Suedlink cable – has recently been delayed by another two years to 2028.

Starting at the Wilster substation, Suedlink will connect power from Germany’s massive wind fleet in the north – as well as Norway’s hydropower generation flowing over the recently launched 1.4 GW Nordlink interconnector – to southern Germany’s power demand centres.

But TSOs Statnett and Tennet would not be able to fully use Nordlink until northern and southern Germany were better connected, said Germany’s outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel last week

“Nordlink definitely helps and German power prices are usually low when we have a lot of wind… So I hope that the cable will be operated in a way that makes sense despite grid bottlenecks,” said Nestle.

If part of the next government, the Greens would push for speeding up grid expansion and for measures to mitigate grid bottlenecks like incentives to build hydrogen electrolysers in northern Germany, Nestle added.

In polls, the party is currently in a tight race with centre-right CDU/CSU alliance for the top position at around 24-25%.

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