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Germany Advances Offshore Wind Energy Projects

2 weeks ago
thedialog
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Germany Advances Offshore

Photo: Pexels.com

 

Germany has approved another major offshore wind project and awarded two new leases, marking significant progress in its renewable energy initiatives. 

This development is part of Germany’s broader strategy to enhance its offshore wind energy capacity through large-scale projects. 

 

Major Approvals and Leases 

The Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) announced approvals for new offshore wind projects. RWE received the green light for the first phase of a large project in the North Sea, and both TotalEnergies and EnBW secured leases for new offshore sites in the latest auction.

 

Germany’s Offshore Wind Capacity

Germany boasts the second-largest offshore wind energy capacity in Europe, with over 8.5 gigawatts (GW) installed, nearly double that of the Netherlands. The United Kingdom leads Europe with 14.7 GW, second only to China globally. 

 

RWE’s Nordseecluster Project 

RWE, which already operates six wind farms off the German coast, plans to start constructing the first phase of the Nordseecluster A. The approved NC 1 and NC 2 phases will implement the initial 660 megawatts (MW) of the 1.6 GW cluster. Offshore construction is set to begin next year, with the project expected to be fully operational by early 2027. 

The second phase, Nordseecluster B, will add another 900 MW, aiming for commercial operation by early 2029. Together, these projects will generate around 6.5 terawatt hours of electricity annually. 

 

TotalEnergies and EnBW Leases

 TotalEnergies’ Offshore Wind One won a concession for a site about 75 miles northwest of Heligoland, allowing the company to build a 3.5 GW offshore wind hub in the North Sea. This new concession adds 1.6 GW to the 2 GW area the company won last year, under a 25-year lease extendable to 35 years. 

EnBW was awarded a lease for a site also approximately 75 miles from Heligoland, planning a 1 GW wind farm set to begin operations in 2031. 

 

EnBW, which already operates four offshore wind farms along the German coast, aims to expand its renewable energy capacity to between 10 and 11.5 GW by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2035. 

 

Auction Details and Industry Reaction 

Germany launched the tender for these sites in January 2023. The sites are located in the North Sea, approximately 120 kilometers northwest of Heligoland, and are scheduled to go into operation in 2031. 

In 2023, the average award value per gigawatt was EUR 1.8 billion, a figure criticized by industry associations. The Federal Network Agency implemented a dynamic bidding process due to multiple zero-cent per kilowatt-hour bids, resulting in 46 bidding rounds for one area and 55 for the other. 

 

Future Targets 

BSH President Helge Heegewaldt emphasized the importance of these projects in meeting Germany’s renewable energy goals. 

“According to the legally defined targets, a total of 30 GW of installed capacity from offshore wind turbines should be connected to the grid by 2030. With the current planning approval decisions, we have another building block for achieving the goals of the Offshore Wind Energy Act for an efficient expansion of offshore wind energy,” Heegewaldt stated. 

 

Germany continues to push forward with its renewable energy agenda, aiming to significantly expand its offshore wind capacity and contribute to global efforts in combating climate change.