January 22, 2013 / 2:27 PM / in 5 years

TenneT sees more German energy investments near-term

BERLIN, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Dutch grid operator TenneT is confident it can convince more investors to pump money into Germany’s energy shift, the head of the company’s German unit told Reuters.

Last week, Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp said it was investing 576 million euros ($767 million) in four German cables to connect offshore wind farms to the mainland, in a sign investors are warming to Germany’s shift towards renewable energy.

“The ice should be broken now,” said Martin Fuchs, head of TenneT’s German unit TenneT TSO GmbH.

“We are in serious talks with further investors and aim for more cooperations in the coming months,” he said, adding they would be similar to Mitsubishi in terms of deal volume.

Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear power had sparked the need for billions of euros in investment for infrastructure projects and the expansion of renewable energy.

However, the response by large pension funds and banks has so far been cautious, triggering calls for better legislation that removes some of the risks for institutional investors.

Germany wants to have more than 10,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore capacity installed by 2020, and 35,000 MW by 2030, vital to replace the 20,500 MW of nuclear capacity that will go offline by the end of 2022.

TenneT, which bought E.ON’s German high voltage grid in 2009, needs to raise the funds to build new power links. In Germany alone some 3,000 km of new high voltage grids are needed. ($1 = 0.7510 euros) (Reporting by Christoph Steitz, Tom Kaeckenhoff and Vera Eckert; editing by James Jukwey)

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