BONN (dpa-AFX) - The major distribution grid operators expect to invest around 110 billion euros over the next ten years to expand the electricity distribution grids in Germany. This was announced by the Federal Network Agency on Wednesday at the request of the German Press Agency dpa. According to the information, the projects to increase transport capacity are planned up to and including 2033 or are already under construction.

From 2034 up to and including 2045, the grid operators estimate further expansion investments of around 90 billion euros.

In addition, there will be investments to replace existing lines. These amount to around 10 billion euros by 2033 and a further 20 billion euros by 2045, according to the Federal Network Agency. "The costs for the expansion of the grids are only included in the grid fees on a pro rata basis and spread over decades," emphasized an authority spokesperson.

Around two million kilometers of distribution grid in Germany

The distribution grids must be distinguished from the transmission grid. While the transmission grid consists of high-voltage overland lines, which are often referred to as electricity highways, all voltage levels below this are referred to as the distribution grid. There are a good 36,000 kilometers of transmission grid in Germany. The length of the lines in the distribution grids amounts to around two million kilometers.

To compare the expansion costs: the Federal Network Agency estimates that the expansion of the transmission grid will cost around 320 billion euros by 2045. This mainly involves the transportation of wind power in a north-south direction.

Following an amendment to the Energy Industry Act, the distribution grid operators were obliged to submit their plans to the regulatory authority by the end of April. The plans of the 82 largest distribution grid operators, each with more than 100,000 customers, were evaluated. These companies cover 100 percent of the high-voltage level and around 80 percent of the medium and low-voltage level. The largest distribution grid operator is the energy group Eon, which according to its own figures operates almost 700,000 kilometers of power lines in Germany. According to the Federal Network Agency, there are 866 distribution network operators in Germany.

The Federal Network Agency pointed out that grid users now have the opportunity to comment on the plans on the internet platform of the distribution grid operators. The authority now wants to evaluate the information provided by the grid operators in more detail and then report on the construction requirements across Germany. The next time the companies have to submit their plans is in 2026./tob/DP/stk