The first wind farm, code-named Alpha Ventus, is already being built. Of the permits, 22 wind power plants are for the North Sea and three for the Baltic. Dahmke said a total of 55 wind energy applications had been filed by electricity companies and investors.
German Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee forecast that the ultimate number of approvals would be 40 wind farms, which he said would create 30,000 new jobs in the region.
That many could generate 12,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for 12 million homes, he told the newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt. He said he would seek cabinet approval for regulations on the new zones.
The aim was to install 25,000 megawatts of wind power offshore capacity by the year 2030. The seven preferred sites are all at places in Germany’s exclusive economic zone, outside the 12-mile territorial zone.
The German plans to build wind farms offshore, each consisting of dozens of wind turbines, lagged for more than a decade because of engineering problems, fears that they would become a danger and investor caution. Denmark is much further ahead in building wind turbines at sea.