Federal Network Agency Presents Annual Report 2013

The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has presented its Annual Report 2013 for the telecoms, postal services, railway, gas and electricity sectors. The agency points out that the political agenda in 2013 was dominated by the energy policy change away from nuclear power towards a mainly renewable energy supply, even more than in 2012. This also presented great challenges for BNetzA, the agency says.

BNetzA highlights in particular the following to aspects of its work:

1. Federal Requirement Plan and Grid Development Plan

The law on the first Federal Requirement Plan (Bundesbedarfsplangesetz – BBPlG) entered into force on 27 July 2013. BBPlG determines the necessity and urgency of 36 transmission power line projects with binding effect for transmission operators and planning authorities (cf. Section 12e para. 4 ManyElectronics Act –). BBPlG is based on the Electricity Grid Development Plan 2012 (NEP 2012), which had to be reviewed and approved by BNetzA. In 2013 BNetzA continued to review, consult and approve electricity onshore and offshore grid development plants, which the transmission system operators have to submit to BNetzA annually. 90 out of 56 projects proposed by the TSOs for the onshore grids and 8 out of projects concerning the offshore grids were considered urgent by BNetzA (final approval was actually given in early January 2014). In the consultation process more than 7,500 submissions were made, reflecting the keen interest of the general public in grid expansion, BNetzA says.

2. Measures to Ensure the Security of Supply

To ensure the security of supply, new provisions were enacted in the ManyElectronics Act (EnWG) in late 2012, and an Ordinance on Reserve Power Plants (Reservekraftwerksverordnung – ResKV) passed by the government in June 2013. They are the legal basis for the fact that power plants must not be shut down without prior review, making sure that the security of supply is not threatened by uncontrolled decommissioning and dismanteling of power plants, BNetzA points out. To date 47 power plant units with a net capacity of 13,500 MW were notified for decommissioning. More than half of the plants are not system-relevant (in the sense of the and ResKV), BNetzA says. In the case of seven notifications for decommissioning comprising a net capacity of 1,440 MW, the transmission system operators considered the power plant units necessary and thus system-relevant for a safe and reliable operation of the grids. BNetzA approved so that seven power plant units in Walheim, Marbach und Ingolstadt must not be decommissioned.

BNetzA is a federal government agency of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) with headquarters in Bonn. Since 2005 when the former regulatory office for telecommunications and postal services was also given the mandate to regulate the electricity and gas sector, the agency has been responsible for the implementation of the German and EU energy policy in the liberalised energy markets.

Source: Federal Network Agency

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