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Elektromagnetische Felder

Radiation protection relating to the expansion of the national grid

To raise the total share of energy from renewable sources in electric power supply in Germany it is inevitable to optimize and expand the existing grid systems. Questions of radiation protection have to be considered right from the start.

What do we know about health effects of low-frequency electric and magnetic fields? What kind of protection does exist? How high are potential exposures to high-voltage power lines?

Answers to these and other questions can be found on the topic pages below.

Stromtrasse auf einem Feld

What are high-voltage lines?

The electricity supply at home has a voltage of 230 volts (230 V). However, much higher voltages are used to deliver electricity to homes. Overhead lines carry up to 380.000 volts (380 kV) to transport electricity from power stations to towns and urban centres.

Further impacts of low-frequency fields on the environment

In the debate on grid expansion and high-voltage power lines, the discharge effects in the immediate vicinity of the lines ("corona effects") and their impact on animals and plants are of major relevance.

Precautions against exposure to static and low frequency fields

Limit values offer up-to-date protection from the established harmful effects of electric and magnetic fields. Precautionary measures enhance the limit values so as to accommodate scientific uncertainties in risk assessment.

Proven effects caused by static and low frequency fields

Low frequency fields generate electric fields and currents in the human body. As a consequence nerve and muscle cells can be stimulated. The limit values set out in the 26th German Federal Immission Protection Ordinance (26. BImSchV) protect against the proven health-related effects of low frequency electric and magnetic fields. No health risks have been demonstrated for static electric and magnetic fields occurring in usual exposure situations that arise from direct current power lines.

Limit values

To date, electric energy has been transmitted from the power plant to the consumer almost exclusively through high-voltage lines carrying alternating current at a frequency of 50 hertz. In the course of the energy transition, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) installations are also planned in Germany.

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