Transmission system operators, 50Hertz, Amprion, and TenneT, have, together with Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, presented initial plans for interconnecting offshore wind farms in the North Sea.
In the future, connection lines from offshore wind farms with a total output of 10 GW are to be inter-connected, the Ministry said.
In addition to connecting the wind farms to the German power grid, the interconnectors will also enable the exchange of electricity with Germany’s neighboring countries like Denmark and the Netherlands.
”The energy transition is benefiting enormously from increased networking with neighboring countries. With additional grid connections, more cost-effective electricity from renewable energies can be imported to Germany,” Germany’s Federal Minister, Robert Habeck, said.
”At the same time, we have to curtail less electricity. The plans presented today show how we will transform the energy system in close cooperation with our European neighbors. Wind energy at sea will play a crucial role in the climate-neutral energy system.”
Parallel to the planning, the Ministry has commissioned a study to examine the overall benefits of such an international power grid in the North Sea. The results show that networking reduces greenhouse gas emissions, increases security of supply, uses the available space more efficiently, and cuts costs considerably.
By networking offshore wind farms, significantly more electricity from renewable energies can be integrated into the pan-European system, according to the research.
For Germany, this increases the security of supply, since additional amounts of electricity can be imported from neighboring countries at times of high electricity demand. This reduces the need for electricity from fossil power plants.
The networking of offshore wind farms thus avoids greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector. In times of high electricity demand, electricity prices are also lower than without networking. If the demand for electricity is low and renewable energy production is high in Germany, renewable electricity can also be exported. In this way, curtailment of German wind farms can be avoided.
In the next step, the TSOs’ plans for networking offshore wind farms will be incorporated into official German and European planning processes.