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08 Oct 2019, 14:25
Freja Eriksen

Germany aims to triple its offshore wind power capacity by 2030

Clean Energy Wire / dpa / Focus Online

Germany's northern states and federal government want to nearly triple the country's installed offshore wind power capacity within ten years with a new expansion target of 20 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, reports news agency dpa in an article carried by Focus Online. "The expansion cap has been raised," commented Olaf Lies, energy minister of Lower Saxony, at a meeting with northern state energy ministers, industry and federal government representatives. "Twenty GW by 2030 is not only the declared target, I am convinced that it will also be legally secured in the coming weeks and months," he added. Currently, Germany's installed capacity of offshore wind lies at 6.7 GW, with the target of reaching 15 gigawatts by 2030. Lies said around 500 new wind turbines would need to be installed just as the power grid would have to be expanded. The increase of the expansion target to 20 GW by 2030 was already mentioned in the German government's climate action package 2030, presented on 20 September. 
Offshore wind power industry lobby group BWO said it welcomed the decision to raise the expansion goal but warned against complacency. "20 GW by 2030 is doable, but we have to look further than that already today," said BWO head Uwe Knickrehm. In order to avoid a similar situation in the late 2020s, planning should already go further than 2030. "We ought to look at what the whole system will look like in 2050 and also consider offshore hydrogen production," Knickrehm said. 

The German wind power industry has long warned of offshore wind power capacity almost reaching its existing legal limits and called for an increase of expansion targets. Offshore wind is a pillar of the German energy transition. About 1,350 offshore wind turbines with a combined capacity of 6.6 MW are currently connected to the grid in Germany. With 42 new turbines added in the first half of 2019, offshore wind power production increased 30 percent compared to the same period one year before.

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