Grid operator Amprion says power gaps can be filled

Workers install new high voltage power lines near Hanau, Germany August 10, 2020. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

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  • Power grid company works with peers to improve grids
  • Does not share market concerns about security of supply
  • Said to work with government, regulator on relevant tasks

FRANKFURT, Jan 18 (Reuters) – German high-voltage grid operator Amprion said on Tuesday it was not too late to build enough gas-to-power plants to help Germany manage its energy transition. renewables and fill supply gaps after the closure of nuclear and coal-fired power plants. off.

Amprion, one of four transmission system companies (TSOs) in the country in which utility RWE (RWEG.DE) has a 25% stake, said some industry players claim up to 40 gigawatts (GW) of gas-fired power plants were needed. until 2030 have been exaggerated.

“Our scenario framework for grid planning until 2037 envisages the addition of 12 GW (of gas-fired power plants),” Amprion chief executive Hans-Juergen Brick told Reuters at the annual summit on the energy of the Handelsblatt. “There is enough time.”

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This could restrict the industry’s electricity supply and therefore the overall competitiveness of the world’s fourth-largest economy, he said.

Electricity cannot be stored to any great extent and renewable generation is governed by weather conditions.

The Brick said an ongoing process by Amprion and its three peers 50Hertz (ELI.BR), TenneT and TransnetBW (EBKG.DE), to ensure grid performance against intermittent renewables was working.

“As TSOs, we are very successfully fighting against high volatilities,” he said.

Germany must obtain 80% of its electricity production in 2030 from renewable energy sources as part of its target to reduce CO2 emissions by 65% ​​compared to 1990 levels by that date.

As an example of TSO capacities, The Brick said peak demand is around 80 GW. Last February, the grid provided sufficient power even when wind and solar only offered 342 megawatts (MW) of capacity. Two months later in April, wind and solar provided 74 GW.

Artificial intelligence has enabled reliable forecasting of renewables, and grid reinforcement and demand management tools are also being used.

But challenges included bureaucracy and citizen opposition to new infrastructure, he said.

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Reporting by Vera Eckert, Tom Kaeckenhoff and Christoph Steitz; edited by Barbara Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Alan A. Seibert