Vattenfall wants to build offshore wind farms in Germany, struggles with framework conditions
Energy company Vattenfall would like to expand its involvement in wind energy in Germany, Jürgen Flauger writes in the Handelsblatt. The Swedish energy company currently has projects in the Netherlands, Denmark and the UK, but would “very much like to invest in offshore wind energy in Germany as well,” Anna Borg, CEO of Vattenfall, said on Wednesday (13 January) at the Handelsblatt Energy Summit. Borg considers Germany a “core market,” but struggles with the framework conditions in the country, Handelsblatt writes. Vattenfall says Germany, just like the United Kingdom, would need a “contracts for difference” (CfD) system, which gives operators of new offshore wind turbines financial protection. In tenders for new offshore wind farm projects in Germany, the contract is awarded to the operator that bids for the lowest support. Therefore, most recently approved projects aim to do completely without support and bet on rising wholesale electricity prices. In the CfD system, the highest and lowest prices are both capped. The operator is protected if exchange prices fall below the limit, but profits are also capped if they significantly exceed the limit. This makes tenders like those used in Germany, which have no hedging at all, less attractive, Handelsblatt writes.
Vattenfall is one of the top investors in offshore wind in Europe and one of the pioneers of offshore wind energy in Germany. A decade ago, the Swedes were involved in the first test project, Alpha Ventus, and subsequently participated in two large offshore wind farms. Today, Vattenfall does not have any new projects in Germany.