All about the players, demand planning and the grid

Glossary of key terms

From A for AC connection to V for voltage stability: Here you will find the NDP glossary.

A secure electricity supply is a common expectation of all of us living in Germany and helps define our everyday existence. The basis of all this is a complex power grid consisting of power lines, substations and storage facilities. The transmission grid, which transports the electricity at the highest voltage level over long distances, plays a particularly central role in this system.

The four transmission system operators (TSOs) are legally responsible for the operation and expansion of the transmission grid. They face a number of challenges, from grid planning to the electricity transport itself. The central instrument for grid planning is the Network Development Plan Electricity (NDP), which is created every two years by the transmission system operators. Previously, the NDP has defined the expansion of the extra-high voltage grid in Germany for the coming ten to fifteen years. For the first time, the current NDP extends its outlook to the target year of 2045. Therefore, TSOs must consider not only the target of the energy transition but also the interests of humanity and the environment. Learn who is involved in the process of grid expansion, how they are planning the power grid of the future and which technologies will be used.

Process and players

The Network Development Plan Electricity (NDP) is developed by multiple players within a multi-stage process. The main players are the four transmission system operators and the Federal Network Agency. Learn how the German transmission grid of the future is developed from the Scenario Framework to the Federal Requirements Plan.

Planning and requirements

The transmission system operators have to create the Network Development Plan Electricity (NDP) while meeting the requirements of a future climate-neutral energy system. The NDP is the basis for upgrading and expanding the grid precisely in accordance with future needs and in line with environmental and economic requirements. Take a look behind the scenes of the power grid planning on land and at sea.

Grid planning | Secure electricity supply at all times, at all places (in German)

Future-ready grids

The transmission system operators are continuously working on a power grid that can meet the demands placed on it and satisfy the needs of the future through expansion and modernisation. Our two short videos will introduce you to the challenges faced on the transmission grid by the energy transition.

Grid expansion measures

The NDP examines the transport requirements of the grid for a defined period and on the basis of various possible scenarios. The identified grid expansion measures are depicted as projects in the Network Development Plan Electricity. Each individual project can comprise a number of associated measures.

Offshore grid development

The integration of offshore wind farms is depicted in the Network Development Plan Electricity (NDP) and in the Site Development Plan (SDP). The transmission system operators develop the NDP in coordination with the Federal Network Agency. The SDP is created by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH). 

Electricity & grid

We all expect as a matter of course to be able to switch on the light or charge our phone at any time of day. Behind this secure supply of electricity is a system of power stations, substations and power lines that has grown over the course of decades. The existing system is continuously updated with new technologies to meet the current and future challenges facing the grid.

The transmission grid is the backbone of the energy infrastructure in Germany, and the systems based on alternating current are operated at the voltage levels of 220 kV and 380 kV. In the future, the planned direct current connections will transport large quantities of electricity at a voltage of 525 kV. Both underground cables and overhead lines operating with AC or DC technology will be used for this, depending on the specific requirements. In the event of a fault, highly complex facilities and systems ensure that our transmission grid remains functional and the electricity gets to where it is needed. Understand the technology behind the German extra-high voltage grid and learn about the various transmission technologies.

Humans & nature

The interests of humanity and our environment have the highest priority in the future-proof expansion of the power grid. Every transmission system operator is responsible to ensure a sustainable and environmentally design and operation of power lines and other grid facilities, such as substations, within its control area. This applies to the planning of new lines and to the operation of existing ones. Follow us as we trace the high voltage power lines, and experience how the transmission system operators implement all expansion plans in a most environmentally compatible way as possible.

Your transmission system operators