Although Germany had a record year in terms of new installed capacity in renewable energy sources (RES) last year, the offshore wind farm sector still lags far behind onshore wind farms and solar power plants. In addition to the lack of new projects, the operators of existing ones are troubled by the reduction of electricity production caused by insufficient capacity in the transmission system.
Wind farms installed at sea are to be one of the pillars of the German electricity industry in the future thanks to relatively stable electricity production. Germany currently has about 8.5 GW of power installed in these sources, by 2030 it should be 30 GW and in 2045 even 70 GW.
However, in order to achieve the stated goals, according to the local associations, it will be necessary on the one hand to modify the existing operating support rules and on the other hand to make the necessary changes in regulation.
“Political goals must be transformed into projects that will receive support in auctions and into investment decisions,” said the BWE, BWO and VDMA associations in a joint statement, according to the foreign website Clean Energy Wire.
Without these measures, Germany will hardly achieve the necessary pace of development in the area of offshore wind parks, which should amount to an average of 3.1 GW of new power per year in the coming years. By comparison, last year Germany installed 257 MW and this year it should be around 700 MW.
Limitation of production
The German offshore wind farm sector is not only suffering from a lack of new projects, but also from forced curtailment of production caused by insufficient transmission capacity. According to one of the German transmission system operators, TenneT, electricity production from offshore wind farms reached 19.2 TWh last year, which is 9% less year-on-year.
According to the foreign site Clean Energy Wire, TenneTu CEO Tim Meyerjürgens said that the development of the transmission system has finally accelerated in the last two years, but “many lost years” are now affecting the production of electricity in these sources, as it must be limited due to the lack of transmission capacity in sewing.
Another reason for limiting the production of offshore wind farms in the North and Baltic Seas is the lack of large controllable power plants in the north of Germany that could reduce output if necessary. Instead of these sources, according to Meyerjürgens, it is the large offshore wind farms that are being limited.