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Last year, 156 new offshore wind turbines with an overall capacity of 818MW fed their power into the German grid for the first time. This brought the total number of turbines on grid by the end of 2016 to 947, with a total capacity of 4,108MW. The amount of power generated by offshore wind turbines was around 13 terawatt-hours in 2016. This represents an increase of almost 57 per cent compared to the 8.3 terawatt-hours generated in 2015.

Another 21 turbines with a total capacity of 123MW were fully erected in the previous year, and are currently being connected to the grid. Offshore expansion will continue with about 1,400MW in 2017 followed by a steady average of around 1,000MW a year until 2019. The number of jobs, currently at 20,000, in the industry is anticipated to initially remain stable, whereby there will be a shift of focus towards maintenance and operation of existing wind farms. The industry’s situation looks to be critical in 2021/2022, for when federal government has limited expansion to 500 megawatts a year. The reduction of the expansion volume and the rigid setting of annual volumes are a strain on value creation for the offshore wind industry in Germany. This overshadows the positive changes of the EEG 2017 in December such as the extension of the permissible service life of the turbines beyond the EEG funding period to 25 years.

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