Germany agrees key steps to speed up offshore wind expansion
Clean Energy Wire
Germany’s federal government, several of its states and grid operators have agreed on how to implement the country’s more ambitious targets for the expansion of offshore wind turbines. With the “offshore realisation agreement,” they committed to targets by updating previous agreements on the designation of marine areas, nature conservation requirements, timetables, interim targets and other issues. "The offshore agreement is an important milestone for more wind energy at sea and a strong joint commitment to the 30 gigawatt expansion target by 2030,” economy minister Habeck said. He added that signatories agreed on a clear process to achieve the new targets, in particular the necessary grid connections.
Germany’s offshore wind power capacity must grow rapidly in the coming years to achieve the country’s expansion targets, but the roll-out came to a standstill which lasted until this year. The government has decided to expand the country’s offshore wind capacity from just under 8 gigawatts (GW) to 40 GW by 2035, and to 70 GW by 2045 – a substantial increase from previous targets of 20 GW by 2030 and 40 gigawatts by 2040. The declaration was signed by the federal government, the federal states of Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein, as well as the transmission system operators 50Hertz, Amprion and TenneT. Environmental groups have warned that a massive buildout of offshore wind in the North Sea, both in Germany and all other countries in the region, would put sensitive ecosystems in the already highly industrialised North Sea under even more pressure.