German electricity grid

A major part of the German Energiewende plan is the expansion of renewable energy to cover 80% of German power requirements by 2050. An investment in the necessary infrastructure to make this feasible includes an 800km underground ‘Electricity Autobahn”, bringing power from the wind-rich north to the becalmed south of Germany.

The network operators Tennet and TransnetBW are proposing a new route. Because of civil protests against huge high voltage masts, the Suedlink transmission system will cost 10 billion euro. It will be the longest high-voltage DC transmission line in Europe.

The Suedlink total capacity will be four gigawatts, equivalent to the power output of four large conventional power plants. Eight cables will be laid on a 30m wide track, from Schleswig-Holstein to Bergrheinfeld in Bavaria, and to Großgartach near Heilbronn in Baden-Württemberg.