Status Hansa PowerBridge
In Germany, the supply of renewable energy will continue to increase in the years to come. Given that this electricity can often not be consumed immediately, unlocking storage capacity is a key to the success of the energy transition. There is a sufficient availability of high storage capacity in Scandinavia. Sweden’s energy mix is dominated by hydro-electric power stations, which are very flexible and produce CO2-free current. Moreover, the Swedish power grid is closely interlinked with the Norwegian grid. In Norway as well, large hydropower plants are available for electricity storage. Together, Sweden’s and Norway’s hydro-electric power stations offer a storage capacity of 48 gigawatt. The Hansa PowerBridge creates a connection between Germany and the large pumped storage plants in Scandinavia.
Market simulations show that the German electricity market will be greatly impacted by the volatile feed-in from renewable energy installations. In times of an electricity surplus from renewable energy sources in Germany, this can be transported to Sweden by means of the Hansa PowerBridge. There, it is consumed immediately and the water resources of the Scandinavian hydro-electric power stations remain unaffected. In periods with little wind, low solar irradiation and high consumption of electricity in Germany, Swedish electricity producers can use their untapped water reserves in a flexible manner to provide their favourable, eco-friendly electricity to German consumers, with a price-damping effect. The Hansa PowerBridge helps avoid price peaks and keep the market prices in both countries stable. As such, these hydro-electric power stations serve as indirect storage units for electricity from German renewable energy sources and ensure balanced prices on the power markets. The Hansa PowerBridge creates an additional trade capacity for renewable energy. This serves the political objective of further development of the single European energy market. The Hansa PowerBridge is therefore an important step to achieve the objective of the European Council of 15 per cent interconnector capacity compared to the generation capacity of a country.
Following the logic of requirement planning, the Hansa PowerBridge was included as European project no. 176 in the ten-year network development plan by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) in 2014. On this basis, the national Grid Development Plan (GDP) was developed, put up for public debate and consolidated. In the GDP, the Hansa PowerBridge is listed as project P221, as an interconnector between Germany and Sweden, planned to be operational by 2025/26.
Lastly, the Hansa PowerBridge from a technical angle stabilises the European electricity system, as it can transport surplus renewable energy. The non-availability of other lines within the system can be compensated more easily by an additional connection.