Economics Ministry of Mecklenburg Part-Finances First German Floating Wind Turbine Project

The State of Mecklenburg Western Pomerania informed that it will part-finance Germany’s first floating wind turbine project. The project is expected to cost roughly EUR 18 million in total. The Economics Ministry will support the project with means from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in the amount of approximately EUR 5.25 million.

The project is carried out by the Dresden-based engineering company GICON Group. The construction of a pilot plant in Stralsund was scheduled for July 2014 and comprehensive technical and ecological testing in the Baltic Sea near the offshore wind farm Baltic 1 for mid-2015, the ministry informed. The floating offshore foundation will be will be connected to the sea bed by means of steel cables. The method was suitable for water depths of 20 metres and beyond, the ministry says. Minister Harry Glawe pointed out that floating wind turbines had the advantage of an assembly onshore. The assembled turbines would then be moved to their specific location by ship.

The German government has recently adopted a bill amending the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), which shall enter into force on 1 August 2014 given approval by Parliament and the Federal Council.

The following changes of offshore wind power support will apply if the bill becomes law:

  • Reduction of the national targets for offshore wind power  from 10 MW to 6.5 GW by 2020 and from 25 GW to 15 GW by 2030 (cf. Section 3 no. 2 EEG 2014);
  • Direct marketing of green electricity will be the rule under the EEG 2014 only in exceptional cases can operators claim feed-in tariffs, in particular for small plants (for more information, please see here). In addition to the revenue from directly sold electricity a market premium can be claimed pursuant to Section 32 EEG 2014 in connection with Annex 1. The following payments (anzulegende Werte) feed into the calculation of the market premium:
    • Basic payment of 3.9 ct/kWh, Sec. 48 para 1 EEG 2014. Currently the basic feed-in tariff is 3.5 ct/kWh;
    • During the first twelve years after the commissioning of the offshore installation the payment shall amount to 15.4 ct/kWh (initial payment), Sec. 48 para. 2 EEG 2014. Depending on the location of the offshore wind turbines, the twelve year period can be extended. Currently the initial feed-in tariff for the first twelve years is 15 ct/kWh;
    • If the offshore installation will be commissioned prior to 1 January 2020, the installation operator can decide in favor of an increased initial tariff of 19.4 ct/kWh for the first eight years from the date of commissioning (so-called Stauchungsmodell, because payments are higher, but the period shorter than for the initial payments). The eight year period can also be extended depending on the location, however, only a payment of 15.4 ct/kWh can be claimed for the prolonged period. Currently the feed-in tariff under the Stauchungsmodell is 19 ct/KWh.
  • Support under the EEG 2014 shall decrease as follows (cf. Section 26 no. 4 EEG 2014):
    • For installations in the sense of Sec. 48 para. 2 EEG 2014 by 0.5 ct/kWh as of 1 January 2018, by 1 ct/kWh as of 1 January 2020 and by 0.5 ct/kWh annually as of 1 January 2021;
    • For installations in the sense of Sec. 48 para. 3 EEG 2014 (i.e. installations eligible for the Stauchungsmodell) by 1 ct/kWh as of 1 January 2018;
    • Currently offshore feed-in tariffs decrease annually by 7.0% starting 2018 (cf. 20 para. 2 no. 7 a EEG 2012).

Source: State of Mecklenburg Western Pomerania

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