My role:

I commissioned the study

Chairman of Advisory Board


Key partners:

The main author: Dr. Christian Nabe, Ecofys.

The members of the Advisory Board


Download the report

Impacts of restricted transmission grid expansion

Based on a sophisticated modelling of the German and European power systems, this Ecofys study answers the question: Can high shares of renewable energy be achieved by 2030 in Germany even if transmission grid expansion turns out to be slower or not feasible at the level assumed by other studies? If yes, under which conditions and with which consequences? Four key policy conclusions could be drawn:

  1. Transmission grid expansion in Germany should be implemented
  2. However, possible uncertainties about the speed of grid expansion are no reason to slow down the expansion of renewable generation
  3. Such uncertainties may be a good reason to start steering the geographical distribution and the generation profiles of additional RES-E capacities
  4. Dedicated policies effectively able to reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector need to be implemented. This is even more important in case of rapid transmission grid expansion.

This study refuted some persisting myths in the European energy policy debate, such as the simplistic idea that “wind energy should be deployed where it is windy and solar energy where it’s sunny”, as well asĀ  the argument that renewables deployment should be slowed down or stopped before massive transmission grid expansion happens.

In my function as Programme Director at SEFEP, I was the initiator of this study and commissioned it to Ecofys. I also convened and chaired the study’s Advisory Board, which included a set of experts and interest groups from the German energy policy field.