BMWI State Secretary Beckmeyer: Offshore Wind Benefits from Economies of Scale as Sector Grows – Next Steps Important

With an installed offshore capacity of more than 3,000 MW by 2015 the sector was reaching a phase at which economies of scale would lead to a significant decline of costs, State Secretary Uwe Beckmeyer (BMWi) said at the OffWEA Offshore Conference organized on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in Berlin.

Following the recent amendment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG 2014) it was important to set the right course for the second phase of offshore growth, in particular for the auctioning of financial support as of 2017, Mr Beckmeyer said.

The EEG 2014 changed support for renewables from fixed feed-in tariffs to market premiums paid to operators who are (mostly) obliged to sell power themselves (so-called direct marketing). In a second phase financial support for renewables shall be auctioned as of 2017. BMWI would publish a market analysis in preparation for the auctions in 2015, which shall serve as a basis for discussion with stakeholders, Mr Beckmeyer announced.

The EEG 2014 reduced the national offshore targets from 10 MW to 6.5 GW by 2020 and from 25 GW to 15 GW by 2030. Growth will be managed through the statutory grid connection regime laid down in the ManyElectronics Act (EnWG). Based on the annual Offshore Grid Development Plan (O-NEP), the grid regulator, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) allocates grid connection capacity. For the period until 1 January 2018 BNetzA is entitled to allocate capacity not only in the amount of 6.5 GW, the national target for 2020, but 7.7 GW. The transitional provision was included in the in view of the offshore projects planned in the past that have received unconditional grid connection commitments under the previous EnWG. BNetzA has recently excercised this right and issued a decision in the first allocation procedure.

Under the EEG 2014 the initial higher remuneration for the first eight years from the date of commissioning of offshore power plants granted until the end of 2017 under the EEG 2012 was extended to the end of 2019 (so-called Stauchungsmodell, acceleration model). Until the end of 2017 the applicable value is 19.4 ct/kWh. It decreases to 18.4 ct/kWh as of 1 January 2018. Instead of the 8-year acceleration remuneration model operators can still chose an initial 12-year remuneration of currently 15.40 ct/kWh. The basic remuneration that applies after the period in which the 8- or 12-year tariff is paid is 3.9 ct/kWh.

Source: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

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