"We need an alliance of government and business" - Summit on offshore wind power highlights urgent need for action

Bremerhaven/Berlin, 9 October 2019 - At the invitation of Lower Saxony's Environment Minister Olaf Lies, the northern states, representatives of the federal government and industry met on 7 October in Hanover for a joint conference on the future of the offshore wind industry. Olaf Lies explained that there is a great need for action after the German government had set clear goals in motion with the climate package. This need for action is acute from the point of view of WAB and the Offshore Wind Energy Foundation.

The economic significance and potential of the onshore and offshore wind industry must finally be recognised and taken into account politically. According to the industry representatives, the rapid implementation of the special contribution of up to 2 gigawatts written down in the coalition agreement can at least mitigate the "thread break" that has already occurred in the domestic expansion of offshore wind power and safeguard threatened jobs. The Federal Government and the Bundestag are now called upon to make the necessary legal adjustments to the "EEG" and "WindSeeG" in the short term. Without this special contribution, grid connection capacities will not be fully utilised for several years, which makes little economic sense. Since the current imbalance of offshore companies already has an influence on the current project implementation, it is important to find solutions as quickly and unbureaucratically as possible together with politicians and industry.

Hydrogen production with wind power can play an important role for the energy system transformation, but is not taken into account in the draft of the Federal Climate Protection Act. A faster expansion of wind power is essential for hydrogen production on an industrial scale. 

The draft law does not take into account the current situation, which is characterised by insolvencies, job cuts and declining added value for the domestic wind industry. Andreas Wagner, Managing Director of the Offshore Wind Energy Foundation, explains: "In addition to short-term measures, we also need a significant increase in offshore wind capacity beyond 2030, with a clear perspective up to 2040 and 2050. Since September 2017, the industry and the coastal countries have been advocating a capacity of at least 30 GW by 2035. This corresponds to an increase of 2 GW per year after 2030."

"Taking into account the development of new storage technologies and sector coupling, WAB together with Bremen's state policy is calling for an offshore expansion path of 35 gigawatts by 2035," adds Heike Winkler, Managing Director of WAB. According to a study by the institute wind:research, the number of employees could be increased to 35,000 jobs with an expansion path of 40 GW, which would also gain acceptance among the population.

The WAB and the Offshore Wind Energy Foundation appraise the meeting initiated by Lower Saxony's Environment Minister Olaf Lies as an important step towards the further implementation of the Climate Cabinet's resolutions: "We need a strong alliance of government and business to preserve the industrial policy opportunities in Germany and make the domestic market more attractive again," said the two organisations. There must be a clear roadmap for an energy turnaround. Over the past two decades, the "EEG" has enabled a rapid development of the onshore and offshore wind industry. With a view to the global competition for the supplier industry and further export opportunities, it is also important to maintain and expand this position through reliable framework conditions.



Andreas Wagner | Stiftung OFFSHORE-WINDENERGIE | 030 27595 241 | 01520 89908 23 | a.wagner@offshore-stiftung.de

Heike Winkler | WAB e.V. | 0471 39177 11 | 0151 158439 24 | heike.winkler@wab.net