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Germany’s Economy and Energy Minister Robert Habeck has announced that the German Government has passed the so-called “Easter Package” aimed to accelerate the build out of renewables and to ramp up the expansion of grid connections.
At the heart of the package are changes to Germany’s Renewable Energy Law (EEG) to enshrine a new renewable energy target of 80% in total electricity consumption by 2030. That means doubling the share of renewables in German electricity: in 2021 it was 42%. The Government now estimates that a rapid uptake in Electric Vehicles (EVs) and the renewables-based electrification of industry and heating will lead to a total electricity demand of 750 TWh by 2030. By 2035 Germany aims to get almost 100% of this electricity demand from renewables.
To this end, the package adjusts annual auction volumes as well as annual wind energy installation targets. Already from 2025 onwards Germany wants to install 10 GW of new onshore wind per year. To make this possible annual auction volumes will increase to up to 12 GW per year. According to this trajectory Germany would have 115 GW of onshore wind by 2030.
Central to the Easter Package is the definition of renewable energies as an overriding matter of public interest and public security. This will speed up the permitting of new renewables projects and reduce delays caused by legal appeals. Military interests are excluded from the definition. Grid planning will be aligned with the acerated expansion of renewables – 36 new grid expansion and optimisation project are added.
For offshore wind the package envisions new targets of 30 GW by 2030, 40 GW by 2035 and at least 70 GW by 2045. To make this a reality the German Government pledged to prioritise offshore wind in maritime spatial planning, shorten permitting procedures and hire additional staff in the permitting authorities.
On top of that the package plans to auction not pre-developed sites. In the future, the expansion of offshore wind in Germany would be based on two equally important pillars: Auctions of sites that have already been pre-surveyed by state authorities on the one hand and auctions of sites that have not yet been pre-developed on the other hand. Centrally pre-developed areas would be auctioned based on price, awarding 20-year Contracts for Difference (CfDs) to successful bidders. Not centrally pre-developed areas would be auctioned according to a catalogue of criteria which would also include qualitative criteria.
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