In the past years, the energy policy has undergone radical changes. Renewable energy sources will represent an ever growing share in electricity generation. The energy strategy of the Federal Government lists the targets:
- By 2020, Germany should generate 35 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources.
- In 2050, the share of renewables in total energy consumption should amount to 60 per cent and 80 per cent of the consumption of electricity.
- The capacity of offshore wind energy will be expanded to 25 GW by 2030.
The grid expansion is and remains of central importance to achieve this goal, as the growing significance of renewable energy sets new requirements for the electrical grid. Whereas before, power was generated close to the consumer, now and in the future it will have to be transported to the consumption centres across great distances from regions where generation is high but consumption low. Grid expansion is therefore mainly required for the transmission of wind power from areas subject to strong winds (e.g. the North German Lowlands) to the consumption centres in Central and East Germany.