In 2013 48 offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 240 MW were installed off the German coasts, bringing the capacity of all 116 wind turbines in the North and Baltic Sea to 520.3 MW, the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) and the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) informed.
According to BWE and VDMA, three more offshore wind farms with a further 103 offshore wind turbines and a capacity of 394.6 MW were completed in 2013, but had not connected to the grid. The total capacity of nine offshore wind farms under construction at the end of 2013 amounted to 2,432.4 MW, the associations said.
Thorsten Herdan, spokesperson for energy-policy matters at VDMA and vice-president of the foundation Offshore-Windenergie, said this was the breakthrough in the first phase of offshore growth in Germany. “We expect approximately 1,500 MW to go online this year and a further 1,000 MW to be connected to the grids in 2015“, he said. He called the new offshore growth target of 6,500 MW by 2020, which the government approved last week, feasible if the government provided the “right signal” for further growth of 3,000 MW and investments of EUR 10 billion.
The key point paper on a reform of the renewables law (EEG) that the government has just approved intends to cut back support for renewables substantially. Offshore wind power is, however, largely spared. The paper mentions the high costs for offshore wind power support (for the 2013 feed-in tariffs please see here), saying this technology was still in its infancy and the technological and industrial potential was justifying continuing support.
For more information on how the key point paper and its Annex may affect offshore wind power, please see here.
Please note that a bill amending the EEG still has to be submitted and approved by Parliament (Bundestag) and the Federal Council (Bundesrat). The government wants the EEG amendment to enter into force on 1 August 2014 (regarding a potential schedule, please see here).
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