BDEW: Data on Length of German Electricity Grid and Share of Underground Cables

The Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) has released data on the extent of the existing German grid at different voltage levels as well as the share of underground cables.

1. Extension of the German grid at different voltage levels

Voltage Level (kV) Length (km)
Extra High Voltage (over 125 kV) 35,188
High Voltage (over 72.5 up to 125 kV) 79,700
Medium Voltage (over 1 up to 72.5 kV) 514,000
Low Voltage (up to 1 kV) 1,168,000
Total 1,796,888

The low voltage level mainly supplies households, small local industries and rural farms.

Connected to the regional distribution grid (medium and high voltage level) are especially local electricity suppliers and large industrial businesses.

The extra high voltage level supplies regional electricity suppliers as well as large industrial enterprises. It connects the German grid with the grids of neighbouring countries.

Currently 90% of renewable electricity is fed-in at the grid locally. Taking into account the increasing amount of renewable electricity due to the energy turnaround, the distribution grid will need further investments in the next years. Hildegard Müller, Chair of the Executive Board of BDEW, pointed out that incentive regulation may help to accelerate the network expansion.

2. Share of underground cables

The chart below provides an overview of the share of underground cables at the different voltage levels, comparing data from 1993, 2003  and 2013.

Share of Underground Cables (Source: BDEW)

Share of Underground Cables

Source: Press Release Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW)

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