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How the energy transition can bring back jobs

With a list of "points of action", WAB e.V. indicates how onshore and offshore wind and "green" hydrogen can not only supply the energy required, but also unleash their enormous employment potential.

Bremerhaven, 20 May 2020. In an open letter (PDF, in German) to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier, the innovation cluster WAB e.V., together with Greenpeace Energy and the hydrogen network H2BX, calls for further steps for an ambitious expansion of on- and offshore wind power and the production of "green" hydrogen in the spirit of the "European Green Deal"

"We welcome the fact that the Federal Government is again showing itself capable of acting in the spirit of the energy transition," said WAB Managing Director Heike Winkler. However, in order to ensure long-term employment, climate protection and value creation with the domestic wind industry and the still developing industry around ‘green’ hydrogen in line with the 'European Green Deal', it is not enough to hand over responsibility for distance rules for onshore wind to the federal states and to make slight adjustments for the expansion of offshore wind. This requires further concrete steps, which we have formulated for our Chancellor and our Federal Minister of Economics and Energy as 'action points for a climate-friendly economic stimulus package'. Long-term framework conditions are urgently needed for onshore and offshore wind and 'green' hydrogen and act as an economic stimulus," added the Managing Director of the WAB innovation cluster. 

A central “point of action” for onshore wind power: "Develop a Federal-Länder strategy for onshore wind area designation". The goal should be a federal-state pact that ensures planning security over legislative periods. "A good framework for a long-term federal-state strategy for the expansion of onshore wind power would be a separate 'Onshore Wind Energy Act'", said Marcel Keiffenheim, Head of Policy and Communication at Greenpeace Energy. Such a law would create the basis for anchoring the public benefit in the expansion of wind energy, providing the necessary areas in a legally secure manner, and bundling planning law in a sensible manner, Keiffenheim said. 

"We therefore need a national hydrogen strategy before the parliamentary summer break with the focus on 'green' hydrogen in domestic production with concrete electrolysis capacity expansion plans beyond 2030", says Claas Schott, chairman of the hydrogen network H2BX.

"We very much welcome the fact that the German Chancellor firmly stands behind the European Green Deal and has recently spoken out in favour of a more ambitious EU climate target for 2030. WAB e.V. is ready for an open dialogue on how a more ambitious target for the coming decade can be implemented in Germany with the help of our ‘points of action’," says WAB e.V.'s CEO Irina Lucke.

The signatories of the open letter advocate that after the economic damage caused by the COVID 19 crisis, the necessary economic stimulus packages should be used to create immediate and sustainable employment by initiating the necessary investments in climate protection. They are convinced that this will help the economy to master the current challenges competitively. The comprehensive modernisation and investment programme "energy transition" not only advances climate protection in Germany. The energy transition will make Germany less dependent on energy imports and offer innovative small and medium-sized enterprises great economic opportunities in Germany and on the global export markets.

One of the central points of action in the open letter is the call for a transparent and long-term roadmap for the energy transition. Such a plan would help to exploit the full potential of onshore and offshore wind and "green" hydrogen. "Realize the industrial policy opportunities of energy system transformation. The EU's Green Deal offers guidance and concrete targets for 2050," the open letter reads.

In order to expand offshore wind power, the partners demand, among other things, that the special tender of up to 2 gigawatts stipulated in the coalition agreement be implemented quickly and that areas be put out to tender before the end of 2020. The expansion target for 2035 should be at least 35 gigawatts.

The signatories also call for the regulatory framework to enable and support the refinement of electricity to "green" hydrogen in order to enable new business models. "In parallel with the increased electrification of the heating, transport and industry sectors, use the potential of 'green' hydrogen for energy system transformation and make sector coupling efficient," the letter states. And further: "Assume an increasing demand for green power from wind energy in Germany, which should be reflected in the expansion paths for onshore and offshore wind energy."

Picture: (c) Trianel Windpark Borkum II

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 e.V. organises the international WINDFORCE Conference in Bremerhaven, this year postponed to 3 and 4 September. The WINDFORCE Conference has become the central meeting place for the offshore wind industry in Germany during its 15-year history. The WINDFORCE Dinner will offer participants the opportunity to enjoy the company of existing and new business partners in a pleasant atmosphere.


Hans-Dieter Sohn | Senior Communications and Marketing Manager WAB e.V. | +49 173 2382802 |