Chapter

Regulating the Extension of Electricity Networks: A German Perspective

Gunther Kühne

in Energy Networks and the Law

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199645039
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738647 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199645039.003.0020
Regulating the Extension of Electricity Networks: A German Perspective

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This chapter analyses the pivotal role that energy (electricity) infrastructure, with particular emphasis on electricity networks, has assumed within the German energy system over the past decade. For several years this development was of a ‘creeping’ character, but foreseeable since the beginning of this century as a result of the changing pattern of electricity generation (reduction of bulk electricity production from fossil and nuclear installations and expansion of electricity generation from smaller and volatile renewable sources). This change was dramatically speeded up in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in March 2011. The chapter discusses the stages of this development, taking into account the most recent legislative measures in response to the Fukushima events and the legal concepts underlying these measures — concepts that even reach into constitutional and European spheres. As a matter of statutory law, the norms on construction and maintenance of energy facilities at first appear to be of a rather technical character. But the German example shows that they are deeply interwoven with basic tenets of energy law, such as security of supply and affordability of energy. Beyond this, the reshaping of energy infrastructure, especially grid infrastructure, has turned out to be one of the testing grounds for the viability of established decision-making procedures within the traditional democratic- representative political system.

Keywords: energy network infrastructure; electricity networks; German energy system; energy law; energy supply

Chapter.  10728 words. 

Subjects: Environment and Energy Law

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