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Windtech International May June 2024 issue






Rotor blade assembly at RWEs OWP Kaskasi courtesy RWE AG Matthias IbelerToday, the expansion figures for offshore wind energy in 2022 were presented by the German offshore wind industry. According to the figures, 38 offshore wind turbines with a capacity of 342 MW were connected to the grid for the first time in the Kaskasi project last year.
This means that a total of 1,539 offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 8,100 MW feed electricity into the German North Sea and Baltic Sea. In addition, all 27 foundations for Arcadis Ost 1 were installed by the end of the year, nine of which have already been equipped with offshore wind turbines. Arcadis Ost 1 is expected to be completed and commissioned in the current year. In the coming years, Deutsche WindGuard expects higher rates of new construction in the industry. The projects for the realisation of the 2023-tenders will take place as of 2028, with a total of 8,800 MW being tendered.

To achieve the expansion targets by 2030, 22GW must be installed offshore in Germany in less than eight years. In Europe, a total of around 150 GW of wind energy capacity is to be installed during this period. As a result, the industry anticipates a significant increase beginning in 2025, particularly near the end of the 2030 expansion target, which requires industrial feasibility. A steady and even expansion path is needed to build stable supply chains and a future-oriented expansion of manufacturing capacities. The production capacities and skilled workers needed to achieve the expansion targets have been lacking to a substantial degree to date. A plan alone is not enough here. Together with politicians, we must immediately create a realistic basis for the implementation of the expansion targets for offshore wind energy for electricity and green hydrogen," urge the German industry organisations BWE, BWO, Stiftung Offshore-Windenergie, VDMA Power Systems, WAB e.V. and WindEnergy Network e.V..

In order to secure the targets, adjustments to the WindSeeG are also necessary. The bidding component introduced in the WindSeeG 2022 raises the risks for investors while burdening electricity customers with additional price increases. This is because it is clear that offshore wind farm operators will have to earn back the bid component. The Ukraine war has painfully shown how important player diversity is. However, there is no safeguard mechanism in the current tender design to ensure this. The maximum amount of expansion to be subsidised per bidder and year should be limited. "Due to the large volume of the tenders, the government and industry must work hand in hand right from the start to avoid subsequent improvements." "This also relates to preserving the diversity of players among project developers," the industry organisations said.
The tenders that will make order entries possible for the supplier industry are still pending. Orders are needed to enable the "ramp-up" of the offshore wind industry for the German market and the necessary investments in production and supply chain, infrastructure, and logistics. With the expansion of the offshore wind supply chain, enormous value creation opportunities emerge, in addition to more cost-effective energy supply and greater supply security for Europe. In addition, long-term and future-oriented employment prospects are also offered. "These must be realised in addition to the necessary climate protection," the industry organisations emphasise the current need for political action. Achieving the expansion targets for offshore wind in Germany of at least 30 GW by 2030, between 40 and 50 GW by 2035, and at least 70 GW by 2045 requires decisive political action.
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