German Offshore Wind Capacity Up 3.1% in H1, Manufacturers Demand Law Amendments

(Reuters) Germany raised installed offshore wind capacity by 3.1% to 8,385 megawatts (MW) in the first half of 2023, industry lobbies said on Tuesday, demanding better revenue guarantees to maintain a build-out pace and ensure it will reach a 30,000 MW target by 2030. 

Wind power is central to Germany’s transition to renewable energy as Berlin aims to generate at least 80% of electricity output by 2030 from green sources such as solar and wind compared with around 50% now, to lower carbon emissions. 

“After years of weak additions, the industry is in the starting blocks to implement a large number of projects,” said organizations BWE, BWO, German Offshore Wind energy foundation, VDMA Power Systems, WAB and WindEnergy Network. 

But a 7,000 MW tender won by two oil majors earlier this month, in which they agreed to pay the state a record 12.6 billion euros ($13.91 billion) to develop the offshore sites, worried the industry groups. 

The tender design had left too little room for revenues to be earned by equipment manufacturers, they said. “The (related) German Offshore Wind Law (WindSeeG) must therefore be urgently amended this year,” they said. 

The major demand is an adjustment of what they described as loose qualitative criteria in the tenders, so as to increase the likelihood of capacity actually being built. 

The sector has suffered from rushed development, supply chain problems, soaring materials costs and some quality issues. The latest 8,385 MW capacity total compares with 8,136 MW recorded on Dec. 31, 2022, Deutsche WindGuard research showed. 

The 249 MW gain was split into 229 MW of new turbine constructions and a 20 MW upgrade at the Veja Mate offshore park. The 257 MW Acardis ost 1 park will likely become operational by the end of this year. In 2022, only 342 MW were added as energy markets were disrupted by record prices and supply uncertainty after Russia curbed gas exports to the West. 

($1 = 0.9058 euros) 

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