The current governance process to plan the German energy system omits two options to substitute grid expansion: First, placing renewables closer to demand instead of where site conditions are best. Second, utilizing storage instead of additional transmission infrastructure to prevent grid congestion. In the paper, we apply a comprehensive capacity expansion model based on the AnyMOD modeling framework to compare the status quo to alternative planning approaches for a fully renewable energy system. To represent spatiality and fluctuations of renewables, the German electricity sector is modeled with great spatio-temporal detail of 32 NUTS2 regions and hourly time-steps. In addition to the German electricity sector, analysis also accounts for exchange of energy with the rest of Europe and demand for electricity and electricity-based fuels, like hydrogen or synthetic gases, from the industry, transport, and heat sector. The results reveal that a first-best solution can be well approximated if the current planning approach also considered storage for congestion management. Placing renewables different has no significant effect in our case, because the available potential must be exploited almost entirely leaving little room for optimization. Furthermore, a sensitivity on the first-best scenario prohibiting additional transmission lines entirely suggests that grid expansion can be substituted at tolerable costs.