German offshore wind power expands “according to plan”, industry wants more ambitious goals
The expansion of Germany’s offshore wind power capacity is progressing “according to plan,” but industry representatives still urge the government to do away with caps and significantly ramp up goals for capacity growth. According to the German Wind Industry Association (BWE), the country’s offshore wind capacity in 2017 reached 5.3 gigawatt (GW), generated by nearly 1,170 turbines in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. They produced 18.3 terawatt hours of electricity last year, an increase of almost 50 percent compared to 2016. “We see an industry that has grown up,” Uwe Knickrehm of industry association AGOW told journalists in Berlin. He said problems in connecting new installations to the grid, a major obstacle in the past, have been largely overcome and offshore turbines have proven that they are capable of substantially contributing to Germany’s power supply and emissions reduction goals. According to Knickrehm, auction results from 2017, in which project developers offered to build offshore wind farms without support, warrant an increase of expansion goals to 30 GW by 2035.
BWE President Hermann Albers said the industry lobby group welcomes the increased renewables expansion goal in the coalition blueprint of Germany’s negotiating conservatives and Social Democrats. However, he added that “the lacking commitment to a carbon price shows that a market-oriented approach is still absent.” He said that Germany’s next government must not only increase the expansion of renewables, but also make concrete progress towards the gradual phase-out of coal-fired power production in the country.
Find the joint press release in German here.
See the CLEW article Germany party leaders agree energy policy blueprint for coalition talks for background.