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New milestone for German offshore wind energy industry

Offshore wind energy market in Germany surpassed the 1 GW mark in 2014, says Deutsche WindGuard.

The German market for offshore wind energy projects broke through the gigawatt barrier last year, according to Deutsche WindGuard on behalf of the four organisations VDMA Power Systems, theGerman Wind Energy Association (BWE), the Wind Energy Agency (WAB) and the German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation (SOW).

By 31 December 2014, 258 offshore wind turbines in the German North and Baltic Seas with a total capacity of 1,049.2 megawatts fed into the grid. According to the survey conducted by Deutsche WindGuard, 142 offshore wind turbines providing a capacity of 528.9 megawatts were newly connected to the grid. This represents more than a doubling of the capacity increase of the previous year.

In addition to the grid-connected offshore wind turbines, the construction of a further 268 turbines with a capacity of 1,218.1 megawatts was completed in 2014 (although these had not been fully grid-connected by the end of the year). The cumulated capacity of the 285 offshore turbines installed by the end of 2014 -- but not hooked up to the grid -- amounts to 1,303.1 megawatts. (Another 220 foundations have been already put in position.)

The manufacturers of offshore wind turbines, foundations and grid technology expect that the capacity increase in 2014 adds to more than just a symbolic mark.

“Out at sea we have now officially broken through the gigawatt barrier for installed capacity," said Norbert Giese, chairman of the VDMA steering committee for the offshore wind industry and board member of the German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation.

According to Giese, the milestone corresponds to an investment volume of around 4 billion euros; turbine, foundation and grid technology exports are also in the billion-euro range. "In 2015 we are expecting up to 2 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity to be newly connected to the grid," he added. "By the end of 2015, we will see a total of some 3 gigawatts installed capacity online, which corresponds to an investment of 10 billion euros in the domestic market of the German offshore wind industry." 

From the operators’ point of view, the increase in the number of installed turbines in 2014 confirms that when the revised EEG came into effect in August of last year, it triggered massive investment. “The EEG 2014 has established the framework for the scheduled expansion of the offshore wind industry, paving the way for more added value in Germany, an increase in exports and securing jobs throughout the decade until 2020," said Dr Klaus Meier, chairman of the board of WAB. "In addition to the future EEG 3.0, it is essential that sufficient grid capacity is provided now for the period starting in 2021, which will mean investment and exports, added value and employment in Germany."

Poised for further growth

Proponents say the milestone is proof that the German offshore wind industry is well positioned in the international market. “The figures we have presented show that, despite all the past challenges, we have achieved a stable growth of offshore wind capacity," said Hermann Albers, president of the German Wind Energy Association BWE. "The offshore technology, which has great potential for  realizing the energy transition and ensuring security of supply in Germany, is on the edge of a decisive breakthrough. More than ever, a reliable legal framework is decisive for the future development." 

Albers firmly believes that 2015 will be the year of the Energiewende, the energy transition. "The sector and the whole industry, as well as the federal states are ready to go," he said.


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Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Wind power




19 April 2015
India can go in for Offshore Wind Farms in collaboration with Germany.
Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

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