German govt to amend offshore wind energy law

Offshore wind farm. Author: Beverley Goodwin. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

May 6 (Renewables Now) - The German government is preparing amendments to the offshore wind energy law in order to create the framework conditions necessary to reach the target of at least 70 GW offshore wind capacity by 2045.

Under the draft bill, tenders for centrally pre-examined areas should be given priority and auctions for non-centrally pre-examined areas should be held on two separate dates during the year.

The planned changes concern also the design of the auctions. For centrally pre-examined areas, projects should be awarded to the bidder offering the lowest value for a 20-year contract for difference (CfD) while the projects for non-centrally pre-examined areas should be selected on the basis of qualitative criteria.

Additionally, the proposed changes provide for the introduction of measures meant to simplify and accelerate the approval process. Some of these include the reduction in the period for filing proposals for centrally pre-examined areas to four months and the bundling of environmental assessments.

Furthermore, the government plans to give employees from third countries, who are active in the construction and maintenance of offshore wind parks, special access to the German labour market.

The proposed amendments will be discussed by the Bundestag next Thursday.

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