Wind power industry wants faster expansion of offshore wind power

The German wind power industry welcomes the expansion of offshore wind power plants aimed for by the new governing coalition; the target of 30 GW by 2030 is correct. Five organizations in the industry are demanding that these must now be incorporated into the Wind Offshore Act immediately in order to avoid further loss of time. Finally, due to “wrongly set political framework conditions, there was no additional construction of wind turbines in the German North Sea and Baltic Sea in the whole of 2021”.

At the moment there are 1501 plants with an output of 7770 MW on the grid. Earlier tenders for areas are now necessary in order to distribute the expansion more evenly than previously planned, write BWE, BWO, VDMA Power Systems, WAB and the Offshore Wind Energy Foundation. The planned tender volumes would have to be significantly increased as quickly as possible in order to maintain and expand the existing innovation potential as well as employment and the value chain in Germany. The area potential in German waters would also have to be fully exploited.

Otherwise, at the end of the decade there could be an expansion backlog, which could lead to bottlenecks in the supply chain and pose challenges to capacity planning in the industry, the organizations believe; after all, other markets have also increased their expansion targets. It can also help if innovative concepts are implemented quickly. This includes the wind industry beginning construction of the 2 gigawatt (GW) systems for offshore wind grid connections earlier than previously planned.

The federal government should clarify at an early stage what additional offshore wind expansion needs the increased target of 10 GW for electrolysis capacity for green hydrogen necessitates. The regulatory framework for green hydrogen requires jointly agreed specifications in Germany and Europe in order to make the market ramp-up of the green hydrogen economy economically possible. To do this, the infrastructure such as electricity and gas networks for the production of green hydrogen in the North Sea and Baltic Sea must also be expanded.

The authorities should be increased in terms of staff so that approval procedures can be accelerated, the organizations continue to demand. It could also make sense to build on external expertise. And in order to have the necessary skilled workers for the planned long-term expansion of offshore wind energy, the relevant courses would have to be optimized and training and further education opportunities would have to be supported and advertised.