Germany’s wind energy is to be transferred from the north to the south via a fourth electricity highway, the Federal Network Agency said on Tuesday.

A direct current connection between the far northern state of Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia in the west is required, the regulator said in Bonn.

The authority had examined a proposal from the network operators who wanted to build the additional route from Schleswig-Holstein to Baden-Wuerttemberg in the south-west. The Network Agency is for a shorter route to North Rhine-Westphalia.

In addition, the authority advocates the expansion of alternating current connections, which have shorter lines.

The route corridor for the new electricity highway goes from Heide in Schleswig-Holstein via Wilhelmshaven in Lower Saxony to Polsum and Uentrop in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The exact route between these places is still unclear: It will only be determined in a later procedure and it is expected take a long time.

At the request of the network operators, the route was to go to Altbach in Baden-Wuerttemberg, but this was rejected by the Network Agency.

By 2030, the share of green energy in the German electricity grid is set to increase from its current level of 38 per cent to 65 per cent.
Much of this energy is created in the windy north. At present, three large power lines are planned in Germany which are supposed to bring green electricity from the north to the industrial south and west of the republic.

The projects have at times met strong resistance in local populations.

The Network Agency launched a consultation on its network development plan on Tuesday: companies, associations and civil society representatives can take part in it until mid-October. The regulator wants to draw up a plan by the end of the year.

On the basis of the plan, the German parliament is to incorporate the power corridor into law, meaning the new electricity highway must be built.

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