A total of 1,469 offshore wind turbines with a capacity of 7,516 MW feed electricity into the German offshore wind energy industry grid as of now. 160 wind turbines with a capacity of 1,111 MW were connected to the grid in 2019.
According to a joint press release from country’s wind energy associations said: “Offshore wind energy has developed from Germany into an international success story. Electricity from offshore wind energy is cost-effective, reliable and constantly competitive.”
The industry has long been calling for an expansion to at least 20 GW by 2030 and an expansion path that goes beyond that. To achieve this, the federal government must quickly create the legal basis and, in the first step, allocate free capacities of up to 2 GW to cushion the consequences of the expansion gap for the domestic industry. Only in this way can the domestic supply chain be maintained and earlier successes, such as the 2 GW expansion in 2015, be achieved again.
The industry representatives of BWE, BWO, Stiftung OFFSHORE-WINDENERGIE, VDMA Power Systems and WAB further explained: “Any further loss of time leads to additional job losses and endangers the international competitiveness of German companies. The know-how acquired in the offshore wind power industry over the last decade is an important competitive edge in international competition that must be maintained. We still need a strong domestic market in order to remain successful in the constantly growing world market.”
Due to the long wind farm project cycles of offshore wind farms, long-term planning security is of great importance, so that the expansion of offshore wind energy up to 2035 and 2050 must be planned now, the industry representatives explained. Otherwise, there is a risk of bottlenecks and time distortions.
However, the expansion paths for all renewable energy technologies would have to be reviewed in view of rising electricity requirements and the framework conditions adjusted accordingly. After the clarity of the phase-out of coal-fired power, we need an ambitious expansion of renewables to replace the missing electricity.
According to industry representatives, offshore wind power capacity of 30-35 GW will be required by 2035, and this will have to rise to over 50 GW by 2050.