Berlin, 12 March 2018 – Once more, the north-east of Germany is in the lead when it comes to the integration of renewable energy sources in the electricity supply. For the first time, over half of the power consumed within 50Hertz’s control area last year, to note 53.4 per cent, was generated from renewable sources. The installed capacity of renewable energy increased from about 29 gigawatts (GW) in 2016 to 31 GW in 2017. “We are proud that with this record share of renewables, we can contribute to a successful energy transition”, said Boris Schucht, CEO of 50Hertz, during the company’s balance sheet press conference held in Berlin on 12 March. “We will continue along this path, also with a view to the new political renewable growth target of 65 per cent by 2030”, Schucht continued. “We are prepared to make the additional efforts this requires. To this end, we need a future-oriented regulatory framework that provides the right incentives.”
Efforts to improve efficiency lead to good result
CFO Marco Nix presented the results for the previous year in detail: “As a result of our efforts to improve efficiency, we were able to achieve a good result last year”, said Nix. Turnover increased to 9.9 billion EUR (according to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)) compared to last year (2016: 9.5 billion EUR). The principal part of the turnover was obtained through profit from Renewable Energy Systems trade transactions, despite this being an item without effect on net income due to the remuneration and surcharge mechanism of the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG). The grid turnover approximated 1.3 billion EUR last year (2017: 1.33 billion EUR; 2016: 1.29 billion EUR).
Grid fees 11 per cent lower for 2018
In the past year, 50Hertz invested 460 million EUR in grid development. Of this amount, 246 million euros were invested in offshore grid connection projects in the Baltic Sea, and 214 million euros in new substations and overhead lines on shore. For the period 2018 to 2022, the company is planning to invest an amount of about 3.3 billion euros. Last year, the number of employees increased from 1.012 to 1.043. There is another number which Marco Nix is particularly pleased with: “Largely owing to the lower costs for congestion management, we were able to reduce the grid fees for 2018 by 11 per cent, which greatly benefits our customers as well as the consumer”, said Nix.
South-West Interconnector allows for savings worth 306 million EUR
The costs for congestion management - i.e. for the increase and decrease of conventional power plant output as well as the lowering of output by renewable energy installations (so-called redispatch) - amounted to 187 million EUR in 2017. In all, this is clearly less than in 2015, when the costs still reached a total of 346 million euros (2016: 180 million EUR). This cost stabilisation is largely the result of the South-West Interconnector, which was put into full operation in 2017. With this line, the integration of electricity generated from renewable sources in the north-east of Germany has improved considerably. Moreover, the additional net transfer capacity of 5000 megawatts in the direction of southern Germany was an important prerequisite for the nuclear phase-out, to allow more electricity to be transported from the high-output north-east to the high-consumption south of Germany. “Up until 8 March 2018, 50Hertz was able to save 306 million EUR in congestion management costs thanks to the South-West Interconnector”, explained Schucht.
“If we want to aim towards 65 per cent of renewables, we will have to develop the grids more quickly”, said the 50Hertz CEO. “But even this will not suffice. We will need innovative technological approaches and will have to consider higher grid loads.” Lastly, it is paramount that local residents be involved at an early stage. “Acceptance is the key enabler for grid development,” said Schucht.
For further information, please contact:
Volker Kamm, 50Hertz Transmission GmbH, phone 030-5150-3417,
fax 030-5150-2199, mobile 0172-3232-759, firstname.lastname@example.org