/LONDON, February 6, 2023, 9:30 GMT, RENEWABLE MARKET WATCHTM/ Offshore wind energy has become an increasingly important renewable energy source in Germany. The German government has implemented several policies and initiatives to support the expansion of offshore wind energy. One of the most significant are amendments to Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and to the German Offshore Wind Energy Act (WindSeeG), which sets out a framework for developing offshore wind farms and provides rules for auctioning offshore wind energy projects. The country has set ambitious goals to expand offshore wind power, with a target of 30 GW of installed capacity by 2030 and a long-term goal of reaching 70 GW by 2040. All these measures shall accelerate the expansion of renewable energy contained and are into force from 1 January 2023.
The European Commission (EC) approved, at the end of December 2022, the amendments to the German Offshore Wind Energy Act (WindSeeG). The government will allocate a total budget of EUR 1.5 billion to increase expansion targets for an installed capacity of offshore wind energy installations in Germany from a previously planned 20 GW by 2030 to at least 30 GW by 2030; to at least 40 GW by 2035; and from 40 GW previously scheduled by 2040 to at least 70 GW by 2040.
The new 2023 WindSeeG provides a comprehensive acceleration of planning and authorisation procedures, faster awarding of contracts for grid connections, a substantially larger quantity of sites to be auctioned, and new auction procedures. This would mean that offshore wind farms alone would provide almost 15 per cent of Germany's electricity by 2030. The changes in WindSeeG also take into account that 1GW (one gigawatt) of offshore wind capacity will be reserved for the direct production of green hydrogen. The first auctions under the WindSeeG will be announced in February this year.
One of the main advantages of offshore wind energy is that wind speeds are generally stronger and more consistent over the ocean, making it a more reliable source of energy compared to onshore wind. Additionally, offshore wind turbines can be built at a larger scale, with larger rotor diameters and taller towers, which leads to higher energy yields. Germany has been at the forefront of offshore wind energy development, with the first offshore wind farm in the country being built in the Baltic Sea in 1991. Since then, the country has rapidly expanded its offshore wind capacity, with a total of over 8 GW of installed capacity as of 2022. Most of this capacity is located in the North Sea, with smaller projects in the Baltic Sea and the German Bight.
Despite the progress that has been made, there are still challenges to be addressed in developing offshore wind energy in Germany. One of the main challenges is the limited availability of suitable locations for offshore wind farms, particularly in the North Sea's densely populated and industrialized areas. Additionally, the installation and maintenance of offshore wind turbines can be technically challenging and costly due to the harsh marine environment.
Despite these challenges, the future of offshore wind energy in Germany looks promising. The country is well-positioned to continue to be a leader in the development of this vital source of renewable energy. With the right policies and investments, reaching 30 GW of installed capacity by 2030 is achievable.
The more information and answers to your questions about the German and European offshore wind energy market and related content (incl. list of offshore wind farm developers and investors, data, and forecasts), you may read here: Global Renewable Energy Market Outlook 2023 ÷ 2032
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