Austria and Germany are set to benefit from a new electricity line construction, with a €600 million investment aimed at increasing grid stability and lowering industry costs in the region. This new project is part of an effort to expand the electricity line that connects Germany and Austria.
Austria has long been a leader in batteries among EU countries, boasting around nine gigawatts of pumped hydropower plants. This makes Austria a prime location for energy storage, which is becoming increasingly important as renewable energy sources like solar and wind become more common. By expanding the electricity line between Germany and Austria, Bavaria is hoping to take advantage of Austria’s expertise in energy storage.
The Bavarian Minister of Economy and Energy, Hubert Aiwanger, explains that “Bavaria, and Lower Bavaria in particular, is a leader in solar energy, while Austria has invested heavily in pumped storage power plants and continues to expand them. These technologies complement each other perfectly.” This highlights the potential synergy between the two regions, with each providing unique strengths that can be combined to create a more robust energy system.
The electricity connection between Bavaria and Upper Austria was originally built in the 1930s and will now be expanded from its current 220-kilovolt capacity to 380. The importance of this project to Bavaria is reflected in Munich’s decision to fund the majority of the project, contributing €500 million. Tim Meyerjürgens, the CEO of transmission grid operator TenneT, explains that “We are dependent on the exchange of electricity with Austria and must also provide the necessary transport capacity for this.” This project will ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place to meet the region’s energy demands.
Both Austria and Bavaria have committed to climate neutrality by 2040, which means that renewable energy sources will play a crucial role in powering the region. Balancing the intermittent production of renewable sources with energy storage is a key priority for the top politicians in the region. Bavarian Minister-President Markus Söder emphasizes that “Bavaria is fully committed to renewable energies” and that “the power lines must be expanded” to achieve the region’s renewable energy goals.
In addition to improving grid stability and lowering industry costs, this project has the potential to create jobs and stimulate economic growth in the region. By investing in renewable energy and energy storage, the region can become a leader in the global transition to cleaner energy sources.
The expansion of the electricity line connecting Germany and Austria is an important step towards a more sustainable future. It will allow the region to take advantage of its unique strengths in renewable energy and energy storage, while also providing a more reliable and stable energy system for businesses and residents alike. With the commitment of politicians and the investment of resources, the region can continue to make progress towards its climate goals and pave the way for a cleaner, greener future.