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Significant growth in German offshore wind energy

Published:  10 March, 2014

Forty eight offshore wind turbines with a capacity of 240 MW were connected to the German grid in 2013, according to Deutsche WindGuard. The Wind energy project development and consulting specialist recently analysed the status of offshore wind energy development in 2013 for Germany on behalf of VDMA Power Systems and the German Wind Energy Association (BWE).

As a result, a total of 116 offshore wind turbines in the North and Baltic seas produced a total of 520.3 MW of electricity until 31st December 2013.

In addition to those already connected, another 103 offshore wind turbines (394.6 MW) were erected in three offshore wind farms in 2013, but were not producing electricity. The total capacity of nine offshore wind farms under construction at the end of 2013 amounted to 2432.4 MW.

Thorsten Herdan, managing director of VDMA Power Systems and vice president of the Offshore Wind Energy Foundation (SOW) said: “The breakthrough in the first stage of development has been achieved. At the end of 2013, three offshore wind farms were connected to the network, one more was built and eight were under construction.

“As much as 266 installed foundations and wind farm units prove that these projects are now in their completion phase. We expect that about 1,500 megawatts will be added to the network this year, and another 1000 megawatts in 2015."

Sylvia Pilarsky-Grosch, president of the Federal Wind Energy Association added: “I am confident that the industry will overcome the challenges in the offshore field. It is assumed that there will be a significant leap forward this year. The importance of industrial policy on offshore wind will then be proven.

“Maintaining the existing framework conditions by the end of 2019, which were agreed in the coalition agreement, has strengthened the planning security for investors and the industry. With the announced reduction of remuneration in the years 2018 and 2019, this has now been brought into question."

Norbert Giese, vice chairman of Wind Energy Agency WAB noted: “The offshore wind industry is awaiting further final investment decisions for the second stage of the offshore wind energy development in Germany. The arrangements of the coalition agreement on offshore wind energy need to be implemented quickly.

“This is the only way in which added value and employment with manufacturers and suppliers in Germany can be secure, with 1.6 billion euro in sales and nearly 18,000 employees already working in 2012 on the coast and at the countryside, and in which further expansion and export potentials can be scooped.

“Only with continuous expansion, the importance of energy-efficient offshore wind energy can be realised and cost reduction potentials achieved in Germany. “About one-third of cost reduction in the next ten years is depending on the further expansion path in Germany and around the world."

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