Extended Strategic Environmental Assessment Regarding Federal Requirement Plan for Transmission Networks

The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has published the extended draft for the Strategic Environmental Assessement (SUP 2013) relating to the Federal Requirement Plan for Transmission Networks. SUP 2013 will examine the impact of the electricity grid expansion and enhancement on human beings, animals and the environment.

It extends the scope of the investigation, examining not only possible affects of grid expansion onshore, but also in the territorial sea (Küstenmeer).

The first German Federal Requirement Plan for Transmission Networks was recently approved by Parliament. It will set the course of the expansion of transmission networks in Germany. The Federal Council, that represents the interests of the sixteen German states, will vote on it at the beginning of June.

According to the ManyElectronics Act (EnWG), a Federal Requirement Plan has to be passed by Parliament at least every three years. In line with its legal obligations BNetzA is in the process of preparing the annual update of the Electricity Grid Development Plan (NEP), on which the Federal Requirement Plans are based. This includes not only a review of all the measures proposed by the transmission operators (TSOs) concerning grid expansion and enhancement, but also the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SUP) pursuant to the Environmental Impact Assessment Act (UVPG).

While the investigation criteria shall not change, the scope of SUP shall be extended, as BNetzA has to review not only the measures proposed in the onshore Electricity NEP 2013, but also the offshore NEP 2013, which the TSOs submitted in March 2013. Apart from overhead and underground power lines, the use of submarine cables will have to examined as another transmission technology. To this end BNetzA has developped special criteria.

Besides, SUP 2013 shall extend the investigation of alternatives regarding the measures proposed for onshore grid expansion compared with 2012. In the Electricity NEP Strom 2013 the TSOs proposed three different scenarios for the electricity generation and consumption until 2023. BNetzA intends to compare the possible environmental impact regarding the scenarios A 2023 and C 2023 with the scenario B, the lead scenario.

Comments regarding SUP 2013, which can be found online at www.netzausbau.de/untersuchungsrahmen-2013, can be made by public authorities and associations concerned until 31 May 2013. BNetzA will subsequently assess the comments, revise SUP 2013 and publish an update.

Source: Federal Network Agency

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