Why is the present transmission network insufficient? Which laws govern the expansion of the electricity grid? Who are the stakeholders? This section gives you the background information concerning the topic of grid expansion.

Why is grid expansion necessary?

As is always the case with sophisticated infrastructure, the electricity transmission network needs to be constantly adapted to current engineering standards. The requirements to be met by the grid have been changing for some years. So much in fact, that small fixes just don't fit the bill any more. This is clear when looking at the goals that Germany has set for itself: the shift to renewable energy sources, maintaining a high level of supply security and the realisation of a single European energy market.


People and the environment

There is one constant priority in planning future electricity networks: negative effects on people and the environment must be avoided wherever possible. The lawmakers have therefore tasked the Bundes­netz­agentur with assessing potential impacts – on health, nature or historic sites for instance – at an early stage.



The debate on grid expansion often revolves around the question of which design is best. Overhead and underground power lines both have their advantages and disadvantages as far as installing and operating them is concerned.


Legal framework

Here you can find information about the legislation regulating grid expansion, with references to the key legislative acts: the Energy Act (EnWG), the Grid Expansion Acceleration Act (NABEG), the Power Grid Expansion Act (EnLAG) and the Environmental Impact Assessment Act (UVPG).


The Bundesnetzagentur's new responsibility

The demands on the energy networks of the future are diverse. Consumers want a reliable energy supply at the best possible price. Energy suppliers and network operators need framework conditions in which their investments will pay off. Conservationists want to make sure that animals and plants are not affected by the changes. And local residents expect their property to be protected. The Bundesnetzagentur's role is to find the right balance.


Shaping the network landscape together with Europe

Future-proofing Germany’s energy supply requires close cooperation with our partners in Europe. A key requirement for this is common regulations and goals. This is the only way to use the full potential of the European energy infrastructure.