15 Jul 2021, 13:58
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany to build no new offshore wind turbines in 2021 for first time in ten years

Clean Energy Wire

Germany will not add any new offshore wind turbines to the existing fleet for the first time in ten years in 2021, the country's wind power industry alliance BWE and other industry organisations said. The lobby group argued the expansion doldrums is "not an indication of lacking investor interest or industry prowess, but a result of political decisions," adding that increased renewable expansion targets, better integration of hydrogen production plans and adequate staff levels are needed to tap into offshore wind's full potential for the country's ambitious decarbonisation plans. "Offshore wind is an important driver of economic activity and will play a key role in achieving the only recently tightened climate targets," the BWE said, stressing the renewable energy technology's reliability and competitiveness. The wind industry group argued that several companies had already left the offshore business in Germany and relocated abroad, a trend that would intensify if effective countermeasures are not taken. "In order to maintain the technological leadership of Germany as a wind power location and to retain domestic production and employment, expansion has to be revived and stabilised with a clear policy path," the group said. The BWE said expansion targets should be raised for both 2030 and 2040 and onshore grid connection plans revised to allow for a greater feed-in of offshore turbines.

The offshore wind industry's warnings come one day after the EU unveiled its extensive Fit for 55 climate policy package, which implies a quick expansion boost for renewable power installations in practically every European country. Germany in particular has to arrange for a quick ramp-up of its renewable power capacities, as the country is shutting down its nuclear and coal power plant fleet over the next years at the same time. A recent judgement by the country's highest court compelled the government to bring forward its target year for achieving climate neutrality to 2045 and the latest calculations of the energy ministry found that the need for green electricity in 2030 will be considerably higher than previously planned.

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