January 22 (Renewables Now) - Several industry associations in Germany are calling for an offshore wind capacity goal of at least 20 GW by 2030 and a special tender for no less than 1,500 MW in the first quarter of 2019.
Germany’s grid-connected offshore wind capacity grew by 969 MW in 2018, reaching a total of 6,382 MW. In addition, there are 276 MW of fully installed turbines, which are yet to start feeding power to the grid. Offshore wind farms with a combined capacity of 966 MW are under construction and there are also 112 MW with final investment decision.
Based on these figures, released by Deutsche WindGuard, it is expected that the legally permitted offshore wind expansion of 7.7 GW by 2020 will probably be achieved as planned, says a joint press release on Monday by German wind energy association (BWE), the Association of German offshore wind farm operators (BWO), The German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation, VDMA Power Systems and Wind Energy Agency WAB.
The associations stress that the offshore wind industry now needs a reliable framework and a clear political signal.
“In order to contribute to achieving the goals of the coalition agreement, the offshore wind industry needs to expand to at least 20 GW by 2030 and at least 30 GW by 2035. The Energy Policy Agenda 2019 offers the opportunity to make forward‐looking decisions this year and to complete the missing statements on offshore wind in the Omnibus Energy Act,” said the industry representatives.
According to the coalition agreement, Germany will aim to reach 65% renewable power by 2030. How offshore wind will contribute to that, however, is not yet clear. The associations note that current political conditions are slowing down the growth of offshore wind energy in Germany. They say the higher expansion volume must be put in place as quickly as possible and the planning prerequisites must be created.
“The opportunity to launch the special contribution provided for in the coalition agreement in the first quarter of 2019 by awarding at least 1,500 MW to use the converter capacities still available should now be seized. There is also an urgent need for action regarding the test field for offshore wind energy,” said the industry representatives.
The associations point out that, in addition to building more renewable power plants, the expansion of the grid and the progress in sector coupling will be of great importance for the energy transition in Germany. They are calling on the Federal Government to give priority to the expansion of the large transmission grids, as provided for in its Action Plan Power Grids, and quickly anchor the numerous proposals for grid optimisation in law.
Power generation by offshore wind farms in Germany was up by roughly 8% in 2018, while costs contracted.