During its annual press event in the German capital of Berlin on 7 June 2017, TSC member Amprion, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), presented impressive facts and figures from the business year 2016. The expansion and modernisation of the transmission system remains the prime challenge for Amprion. Last year, the TSO invested €567m in grid infrastructure, topping the investements of 2015 by more than €90m. “To advance the energy transition, we invested as much in 2016 as never before”, explains Dr. Hans-Jürgen Brick, Amprion’s Chief Commercial and Financial Officer.
Grid extension is essential to the future security of electricity supply in Germany and beyond. This became explicitly clear throughout the cold periods of last winter, when Amprion was confronted with an extremely high transport demand on the north-south power lines of the company. In view of the imminent shutdown of the nuclear plants in southern Germany, such high demands are very likely to become the rule. That is why Dr. Klaus Kleinekorte, Chief Technical Officer at Amprion, declared: “We urgently need to speed up the expansion of the transmission grid.” Nevertheless, already now the TSO has realised large parts of its objectives: “At the end of 2016, well over two-thirds of our planned 2,000 grid extension kilometres were approved, under construction or already completed,” comments Dr. Kleinekorte.
In order to prepare the transmission system for future requirements, Amprion banks on innovative projects and solutions, such as the Belgian-German interconnector ALEGrO, or the exploration of new drilling methods for the trenchless laying of underground cables (E-Power Pipe). However, the TSO’s efforts are not confined to aspects of grid expansion. “We must continue to develop our energy system as a whole,” said Dr. Brick. “We need more transparency, flexibility and a genuine integration of renewable energies into the market so that we can reduce costs.” As far as the Amprion’s economic performance in 2016 is concerned, Dr. Brick was able to report an increase of sales revenues to €2.2bn (€1.9bn in 2015). Profits decreased by 7.6 percent to €158m (€171m in 2015), mainly due to a necessary workforce expansion. Another reason was the inevitable performance of expensive grid stabilisation measures this winter.
> See Amprion press release, in German (html)
Picture: Amprion / Lutz Kampert
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