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30 GW offshore wind energy by 2030: Target is good - accelerate and stabilize expansion now

  • As expected, no new installations in 2021. 1,501 turbines with a capacity of 7,794 MW connected to the grid
  • Earlier tendering of sites required to distribute expansion more evenly than previously planned
  • Increase in planning and approval capacities through legally compliant, uniform and fast design of legal requirements and increase in staffing of authorities
  • Significantly increase of tender volumes this year to enable more construction activity more quickly. To maintain innovation, employment and value creation
  • Expansion and targeted promotion of education and training creates and secures sustainable jobs

Due to wrongly set political framework conditions, no wind turbine construction activity took place in the German North Sea and Baltic Sea in the entire year 2021. Motivated by the need for climate protection and economic sustainability, the new German government has set higher and more long-term targets in the coalition agreement. These must now be incorporated into the Wind-on-Sea Act without delay in order to avoid further loss of time.

"The commitment of the new German coalition to significantly accelerate the expansion of offshore wind energy is just as correct as the concrete target of at least 30 gigawatts by 2030. This target creates a positive perspective for the entire value chain," the industry organizations BWE, BWO, VDMA Power Systems, WAB and the OFFSHORE-WINDENERGIE Foundation commented on the new expansion targets. "Now the grid and spatial planning for the implementation of the targeted expansion path should be revised without delay. The aim must be to leverage all acceleration potentials in order to enable an efficient and climate-protection-friendly expansion."

Accelerate and distribute expansion targets more evenly over the coming years, strengthen employment and value chain

The planned tender volumes must be significantly increased as quickly as possible in order to maintain and expand the existing innovation potential as well as employment and the value chain in Germany. In addition, the spatial potential in German waters must be fully exploited. Conflicts of use should be resolved pragmatically and in line with climate protection , as such also supporting the interests of environmental protection. It is also important to avoid an expansion bottleneck at the end of the decade, which could lead to bottlenecks in the supply chain and pose challenges for the industry's capacity planning - especially since other nations have also increased their expansion targets.

Rapid implementation of innovative approaches can also help to meet the higher targets. This includes starting construction of the 2 gigawatt (GW) systems for offshore wind grid connections earlier than previously planned. The potential of German waters must be fully exploited, and European solutions such as cross-border projects are also helpful in obtaining sufficient generation. This will maintain and create skilled jobs in the value chain throughout Germany.

Tender areas for green hydrogen

The German government should clarify at an early stage which additional offshore wind expansion requirements the increased target of 10 GW for electrolysis capacity for green hydrogen will require. These areas should also be promptly located and put out to tender without delay. The regulatory framework for green hydrogen requires jointly coordinated specifications in Germany and Europe to make the market ramp-up of the green hydrogen economy  commercially feasible.

The appropriate infrastructure is important for the medium- to long-term expansion of offshore wind energy. This also includes the coordinated expansion of electricity and gas grids for the production of green hydrogen in the North and Baltic Seas.

Reduce approval obstacles: Reinforce authorities with personnel, speed up procedures

The authorities responsible for the expansion of offshore wind energy must be quickly reinforced in terms of personnel in order to be able to cope with the significantlyaccelerated planned expansion. At the same time, it makes sense to also rely on external expertise in  case of staffing bottlenecks. "It could also be helpful to set up a central coordination office that brings all the necessary units and responsibilities for the authorities involved to one table," say the industry organizations. "The areas of spatial planning and seabed  use, species and environmental protection, grid expansion and the regulations regarding construction and operation of an offshore wind farm should be better coordinated in the future."

 

Countering the shortage of skilled workers

In order to have the necessary skilled workers for the planned long-term expansion of offshore wind energy,  relevant study programs must be optimized. Training and continuing education programs must be supported and promoted.

 

About the annual figures "Status of offshore wind energy expansion in Germany".

In the Deutsche WindGuard analysis, the expansion figures for offshore wind energy have been collected separately from those for onshore wind energy since 2012. The clients are the German Wind Energy Association (BWE), the German Offshore Wind Farm Operators Association, the Offshore Wind Energy Foundation, VDMA Power Systems and WAB e.V.

About the German Wind Energy Association e.V. (BWE)

As a member of the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE), the BWE represents the entire wind energy sector with its more than 20,000 members. Together, the supplier and manufacturer industry anchored in the German mechanical engineering sector, project developers, specialised lawyers, the financial sector as well as companies from the areas of logistics, construction, service/maintenance and storage technologies, electricity traders, grid operators and energy suppliers ensure that the BWE is the first point of contact for politics and business, science and the media on all issues relating to wind energy.

About the Federal Association of Offshore Wind Farm Operators e.V. (BWO)

The German Offshore Wind Farm Operators Association (BWO) represents all companies that plan, construct and operate offshore wind farms in Germany. The BWO is the central point of contact for politicians and authorities at federal level on all issues relating to offshore wind power.

About the German Foundation OFFSHORE WIND ENERGY

The foundation was founded in 2005 on the initiative of the industry and under the moderation of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV). The foundation’s overall purpose is to consolidate the role of offshore wind energy in the energy mix of the future in Germany and Europe and to promote its expansion in the interests of environmental and climate protection.

About VDMA Power Systems

VDMA Power Systems is a trade association of the German Engineering Federation VDMA e.V. The trade association represents the interests of manufacturers of wind energy and hydropower plants, fuel cells, thermal plants and storage systems in Germany and abroad. For all of them, VDMA Power Systems serves as an information and communication platform for all industry topics such as energy policy, legislation, market analyses, trade fairs, standardisation and press and public relations.

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.

Contact:

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