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22 Sep 2021, 13:48
Sören Amelang

Germany can install at least 60 GW of offshore wind – industry study

Clean Energy Wire

Germany could install offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of more than 60 gigawatts (GW), says a study by wind power consultancy WindGuard. According to the calculations, offshore turbines could produce more than 1.2 million tonnes of green hydrogen [44 terawatt-hours (TWh)] if all capacity in excess of 40 GW is used for electrolysers. Germany currently plans to use 40 GW of offshore wind capacity for power production in 2040. Precondition for these production figures is the use of all possible areas identified in the country's latest plan of the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH). Germany's hydrogen strategy envisages a hydrogen production target of 28 TWh by 2035/40.

"With only around 7.5 GW of capacity installed to date, we are running out of time," said Olaf Lies, environment and energy minister in the wind power state of Lower Saxony. "We must now set expansion targets that will enable us to quickly achieve climate neutrality. Forty GW in 2040 is simply not enough."

Offshore wind power is a key pillar of Germany’s emissions reduction plans. But concerns over the impact on marine ecosystems have been accompanying the technology's roll-out from the start, even though most environmental groups agree that offshore wind power is needed to meet international climate targets. The country is the world's second-largest offshore operator behind the United Kingdom but expansion has slowed down recently.

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