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Transmission system operator 50Hertz presents 2016 balance sheet

Lower costs for grid interventions show positive effect of continued grid development

Transmission system operator 50Hertz presents 2016 balance sheet

Berlin – Today, 50Hertz, the transmission system operator responsible for Northern and Eastern Germany, presented its balance sheet and activity report for 2016. According to 50Hertz, the costs for congestion management, which are clearly lower than in 2015, particularly show that the expansion of the transmission system is essential in order to achieve the energy transition in a successful and the most economically efficient manner.

High share of renewables in electricity consumption: 48 per cent

At about 96 terrawatt-hours (TWh), the consumption of electricity in 50Hertz's grid area remained at the same level as in previous years. The installed capacity of renewable energy again increased by 1.3 GW, from 27.1 gigawatt (GW) in 2015 to 28.4 GW in 2016. For 2016, the share of renewable energy sources in the consumption of electricity approached 46 TWh inside the 50Hertz control area - this corresponds to a renewable share in the consumption of electricity of approximately 48 per cent that could be integrated securely into the grid.

The physical net exports from the 50Hertz control area increased by 1 TWh in the past year, from 39.4 TWh in 2015 to 40.4 TWh in 2016. By way of comparison: for all of Germany, 53.7 TWh of electricity was exported last year, making the 50Hertz grid area an important power exporter both within Germany and Europe.

The power volumes and the costs for congestion management - also for the increase and decrease of conventional power plant output (so-called redispatch) as well as the lowering of output by renewable energy installations - clearly decreased in 2016 compared with last year. Whereas in 2015, the total cost still amounted to about 354 million EUR, 50Hertz saw a decrease with about half to approximately 180 million EUR in 2016. Of this amount, some 107 million EUR was spent on redispatch measures (2015: 205 million EUR) and approximately 73 million EUR went to lowering the output by renewable energy installations (2015: 146 million EUR).

According to Boris Schucht, CEO of 50Hertz, the commissioning of the first system of the South-West Interconnector ("Thuringian Power Bridge") in late 2015 had a particularly positive effect on the lower costs for congestion management: "The fact that part of the South-West Interconnector could transport electricity to the south in 2016 represented a considerable contribution to the cost cut of about 180 million EUR in comparison with last year. This clearly shows that grid development works!"

Infrastructural development, the key to the energy transition, is making progress

50Hertz was able to bring 33 kilometres of new lines into service in the past year, while another 129 kilometres are being constructed and 629 kilometres are the subject of ongoing approval procedures. In view of the projects defined as urgent in the Power Grid Expansion Act (EnLAG) that became effective in 2009, this represents a realisation of about 55 per cent of these EnLAG projects within the 50Hertz grid area up to and including 2016.

In addition, three new substations became operational in 2016 (Jessen/Nord, Gransee, Putlitz/Süd), while two more will follow this year. The construction work on the 380-kV Nordring Berlin is progressing well, so that the western section is expected to be completed this year. The phase-shift transformers on the interconnector with the Czech Republic in Röhrsdorf (Saxony) were also put into service this year, as well as the second system of the South-West Interconnector. As regards offshore activities, the main focus lies on the cable-laying for the grid connection of the planned wind farms in the Cluster Westlich Adlergrund (CWA, Western Adler Ground cluster), works which will continue in 2017.

According to Boris Schucht, all of these long-term infrastructure projects, which are needed to implement the energy transition, can only be realised successfully if the legal and regulatory framework, which has become more stringent in the past year, is conducive for investment funding.

High level of investments and strong result

The amount invested in 2016 approached a new record height - 737 million EUR - and on average is expected to be maintained at about the same level in the next five years. Of this total investment, 318 million EUR were invested in onshore (2015: 302 million EUR) and about 419 million EUR were invested in offshore operations (2015: 600 million EUR). For 2017-2021, 50Hertz has planned a total investment of 3.8 billion EUR. As a result of the very high level of investments of the past years, 50Hertz was able to increase its personnel to about 1,000 employees (2015: 950). Rating agency Moody's confirmed the stable Baa1 rating for 2016 as well.

The grid turnover approximated 1.290 billion EUR last year, compared with 1.495 billion EUR in 2015. The IFRS result, which follows economic criteria, amounts to 128 million EUR compared with the 199 million EUR in 2015. The non-recurrent effects of 2015 that are now absent and the higher operational costs as a result of commissioning and storm damage could not be compensated by the increase in business due to the investment activities. The result according to German commercial law (HGB), which determines the dividend, amounted to 127 million EUR in 2016 and contrary to last year was not diminished by the redispatch costs. Lastly, 2016 was characterised by a strong financial performance, said Marco Nix, CFO at 50Hertz.

For further Information, please contact:
Volker Kamm, 50Hertz Transmission GmbH, phone 030-5150-3417, fax 030-5150-2199, mobile phone 0172-3232-759, volker.kamm@50hertz.com

Download press release as pdf.

Press Contact

Volker Kamm


Volker Kamm
Tel: +49 (0) 30 5150-3417
Fax: +49 (0) 30-5150-2199
E-Mail: volker.kamm@50hertz.com