• Business Business

German energy regulator plans to slash red tape to expedite its power grid transition: 'The energy transition is gathering pace'

"Whereas it used to take two expert opinions to reach a decision, today it takes five to 10."

"Whereas it used to take two expert opinions to reach a decision, today it takes five to 10."

Photo Credit: iStock

Germany has formulated a bold plan to scale up its adoption of clean energy, and its recent moves indicate that its commitment is unwavering. 

Reuters reported on Jan. 18 that the country's federal regulator will be streamlining operations over the next two years to facilitate the transition away from dirty energy

"The energy transition is gathering pace," Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) president Klaus Müller said in a statement published by the news outlet. "Power networks must be extended and digitized. Gas networks can be partly switched to transporting green hydrogen, while other parts will need to be closed at some stage." 

The agency also intends to effectively support investors while not creating a considerable financial burden on consumers, who pay grid fees as part of their electric bills. Two major power companies in the country have said that they need an infusion of cash to stay competitive as they transition, according to Reuters

"Network operators are successfully making considerable efforts to meet the challenges of the energy transition. We want to provide even more support to them in this endeavor," Müller said in an agency press release. 

In order to reach its pollution-reduction goals, Germany will need 80% of its electricity to be generated by renewables by 2030 before switching entirely to a clean-energy grid by 2035, according to the International Energy Agency, so the news suggests things are moving in a promising direction.

The removal of administrative hurdles is part of an overhaul that is expected to result in more efficient approvals for renewable energy projects such as wind and solar farms, which do not release planet-warming pollution as they produce electricity. 

Clean Energy Wire wrote in 2022 that "complex or contradictory regulations" were among the issues discovered by German industry association BDI as it investigated procedures. 

"Whereas it used to take two expert opinions to reach a decision, today it takes five to 10," BDI reportedly said in its report, noting that the document-gathering process alone was taking an average of 1.5 years.

Federal Network Agency Vice President Barbie Haller told Reuters that a new system is expected to be up and running in early 2026. 

"The regulatory framework should be optimized with a view to the requirements of the energy transition. It is good that this should take place in an open and constructive dialogue," Kerstin Andreae, the chairwoman of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries, said in a statement reported by Power Technology. 

"The BDEW and its member companies are ready for this," she added.

Join our free newsletter for cool news and actionable info that makes it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider