12th National Maritime Conference: Value creation potential for the wind and maritime industry

Bremerhaven, 10 May 2021 - The offshore wind industry is in a position to contribute more than the 20 gigawatts of installed capacity planned so far to the achievement of climate targets and constitutional climate protection even before 2030. The maritime industry in Germany can benefit from a faster expansion of offshore wind energy, including for the production of "green" hydrogen in the North and Baltic Seas.

This year, the Wind Industry Association and Innovation Cluster WAB e.V. is supporting the Federal Ministry of Economics in organising the "Offshore Wind Energy" industry forum of the National Maritime Conference. "As one of six expert forums of the sub-sectors shipbuilding and supply industry, shipping, marine technology, ports, naval shipbuilding, the Offshore Wind Energy Industry Forum shows the synergies that the expansion of offshore wind, the development of a 'green' hydrogen economy and the maritime industries along the coast and nationwide enable for employment, value creation and faster climate protection," says Heike Winkler, Managing Director of WAB e.V. based in Bremerhaven.

"In Germany, we have a great deal of expertise in the maritime industry and a complete offshore wind value chain, including many competent and innovative small and medium-sized enterprises and a broad-based research landscape, all of which would benefit from a faster and stable expansion," says the WAB Managing Director.

As this expansion has currently been interrupted by political decisions, no construction activities are taking place in German waters and will increase too slowly in the first half of the 2020s to offer sufficient market volume to domestic companies. This 'thread break' has already cost substance. "That is why we need short-term impulses, such as an additional tender for areas in 2022 - if necessary also in combination with the production of 'green' hydrogen - which will enable an increase in construction activities in the North Sea and Baltic Sea before 2026," says the WAB managing director.

The WAB welcomes the amendment to the Energy Industry Act (EnWG) passed by the Federal Cabinet at the end of April, which is intended to facilitate the connection of offshore wind farms in coastal areas. The proposal includes a possibility to apportion grid connection costs. Accordingly, projects in coastal areas that are not covered by the Wind Energy at Sea Act should not receive a fixed feed-in tariff. The commissioning of the wind farm and the grid connection must be coordinated.

It is also important to aim now for an interim target of 35 gigawatts by 2035 and to take into account the potential for offshore wind energy and "green" hydrogen generated from it beyond 2040 in land use planning for the North and Baltic Seas. Since climate and nature protection is a common and indivisible task, offshore wind expansion requires far-sighted spatial planning oriented towards climate protection needs.

About the "Offshore Wind Energy" Forum at the 12th National Maritime Conference

In the Offshore Wind Energy Forum co-organised by WAB (10 May, 15:45-17:15), the industry association will be represented by co-moderator Heike Winkler and WAB board member Irina Lucke (Omexom Germany), among others. Irina Lucke, Martin Volker Gerhardt (WAB member Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy) and Wolfgang Lemb (IG Metall) were among the speakers at the 16th WAB industry conference WINDFORCE in September 2020. 

The National Maritime Conference is the largest gathering of the maritime industry and is once again under the patronage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The 12th NMK will be broadcast live from Rostock on 10 and 11 May 2021.

During the forum, there will be video contributions from WAB members Ørsted, WindMW Service GmbH, Jaeger Mare Solutions GmbH, Stahlbau Nord GmbH and wpd, as well as the transmission system operators TenneT and Amprion.

About WAB e.V.

Bremerhaven-based WAB is the nationwide contact partner for the offshore wind industry in Germany and the leading business network for onshore wind energy in the north-west region. The association fosters the production of "green" hydrogen from wind energy. It comprises some 250 smaller and larger businesses as well as institutes from all sectors of the wind industry, the maritime industry as well as research.

WAB organises the annual international offshore wind industry conference WINDFORCE, which takes place this year on 5 and 6 October in Bremerhaven. Scotland is the partner country of the 17th WINDFORCE Conference. International experts will talk about the current development of the markets, the political framework conditions and the latest innovations in the industry. Abstracts for presentation proposals can be submitted until 21 June via bit.ly/Windforce-2021-Abstract


Hans-Dieter Sohn | Senior Communications and Marketing Manager WAB e.V. | +49 173 2382802 | hans.sohn @ wab.net