July 25, 2018 / 10:30 AM / 5 months ago

TenneT invests 20 pct more as Dutch/German energy transition gains pace

AMSTERDAM, July 25 (Reuters) - Electricity grid operator TenneT IPO-TTH.AS said on Wednesday its investments in its Dutch and German high voltage grids rose 20 percent to 904 million euros ($1.06 billion) in the first half of 2018, as it tries to keep pace with the rapid expansion of solar and wind energy.

The Dutch government-owned operator of electrical grids in the Netherlands and Germany earlier this year said it expected to invest a total of 28 billion euros in new infrastructure in the coming 10 years.

This infrastructure is needed to connect the large new wind and solar farms Germany and the Netherlands plan to build, on land and in the sea. Both countries have said they will get the large majority of their energy from renewable sources by 2050.

“The energy transition is gaining momentum, also in the Netherlands”, Chief Executive Mel Kroon said in a statement. “While the Netherlands has been trailing behind Germany until now, it is expected to catch up soon.”

In the Netherlands, TenneT is working on an offshore electricity grid to connect a total of 11.5 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy capacity to its onshore high-voltage transmission grid by 2030.

In Germany, the company is also expanding the connection of offshore wind farms to the onshore grid, while preparing bids for the construction of “electricity highways” to transmit wind energy over hundreds of kilometres from the north to the south.

TenneT said its revenues remained stable at around 2 billion euros in the first half of 2018. Gross profits (EBITDA) fell 12 percent to 699 million euros, due to regulatory changes in the Netherlands.

$1 = 0.8553 euros Reporting by Bart Meijer Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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