Electricity Grid Expansion Policies in Germany: Implementation, Participation and Acceptance

DATENovember 2023
AUTHORJulia Horn and Florian Mersmann (BGP), Johanna Meier and Friederike Wenderoth (dena)

Electricity grid infrastructure is a crucial bottleneck in the German energy transition. Balancing different forms of renewable electricity generation, as well as the distribution of electricity between northern and southern Germany, mandates the establishment of additional high voltage transmission lines with the capacity to transport electricity across extended distances. Policymakers have addressed this issue with a series of legislative packages, including NABEG, the Grid Expansion Acceleration Act – Transmission Grid (“Netzausbaubeschleunigungsgesetz Übertragungsnetz”).

This paper presents an assessment of NABEG using the Climate Transparency Climate Policy Implementation Check, a tool that enables a quick evaluation of the implementation status of policies in the categories of Legal Status, Resources, Institutions and Governance, and Oversight. The Climate Transparency Implementation Check finds that the NABEG has a strong policy design and is generally well set up for the effective implementation of fast-tracking the transmission grid expansion. The only category of the Implementation Check in which NABEG does not score “strong” is Oversight. An official evaluation of the implementation of NABEG is planned for 2026, but details on the governmental evaluation process remain unclear. The assessment presented here offers an analysis of the obstacles to swift implementation and highlights public participation as a key solution area.