German Offshore-Wind Initiative

International cooperation with Japan, Taiwan and the United States for the German offshore wind energy sector

The aim of this three-year initiative funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is to support German companies in the offshore wind energy sector in their export business to three of the most attractive, dynamically growing markets – Japan, Taiwan and the United States. It consists of three measures: an in-depth export market analyses, the organization of networking and sector events on site, and local support within each target market through the employment of representatives in Japan, Taiwan and the United States.

The project of the German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation has been renamed "German Offshore-Wind Initiative (GOI)" for better external presentation abroad, but subsequently the term "project" is still used.

Background

At the Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015, 195 countries agreed to a general, legally binding global climate treaty aimed at limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. With its own Climate Action Plan 2050, the German government has set itself the long-term goal of entering the future with zero greenhouse gas emissions. The 2018 coalition agreement stipulates that by 2030, renewable energies should account for 65 percent of Germany's electricity supply. This target can only be achieved with a significant share of offshore wind energy in electricity generation. For this reason, the German government has raised the expansion target for offshore wind energy from 15 GW to 20 GW by 2030.

Due to the long planning and lead times of the authorities involved (BNetzA, BSH, etc.), the aforementioned recent increase in the expansion target has resulted in a construction gap. Until 2022, no offshore wind turbines will be able to go into operation in Germany. As a result, drastic revenue losses within the entire supply chain as well as a loss of active players within the industry may occur.

The German Offshore-Wind Initiative (GOI) addresses this expansion and construction gap by strengthening the export business primarily for smaller and middle-sized German companies (SME) within the offshore wind energy sector. Simultaneously, offshore wind energy has gained increasing importance internationally. Three of the most important target markets for this project are Japan, Taiwan, and the United States because here, German know-how can meet dynamically expanding markets.

The German Foundation OFFSHORE-WIND ENERGY and the World Forum Offshore Wind (WFO), funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), will henceforth pool their competencies to jointly implement coordinated and effective measures to support export to the previously identified markets. 

Project goals and key objectives

The GOI aims to support SMEs within the offshore wind energy sector in securing export opportunities within the three target markets and to deliver concrete results within the duration of the project. Under consideration of existing initiatives and organizations (e.g. Export Initiative Energy, Energy Partnerships, AHKs), three concrete measures will be implemented in the three target countries over a three-year period.

The project will kick off with a thorough export market analysis. An online survey will provide an overview of export activities and opportunities as well as possible barriers to market entry within the three target markets. A series of subsequent, in-depth interviews will provide additional insight into relevant topics.

Simultaneously, local representative offices will be established in each of the three target markets. These representatives will use the information derived from the export market analysis to offer practical support to companies, including the facilitation of networking and the acquisition of orders. As such, the representatives will pose as a direct link between local market players and the German offshore wind industry. The three offices in Tokyo, Taipei, and New York will be directly linked to the existing infrastructure of the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK).

Last but not least, the GOI project will organize specialized events with all relevant stakeholders. In each of the target markets, two events featuring current key topics and targeted networking opportunities will be offered. As a complementary measure, the representatives will aim to build a connection to existing formats (e.g. trade fair appearances with joint exhibition stands for effective and efficient presentation opportunities).

A win-win situation: To conclude, the above ascribed project measures will not only support the German offshore wind industry in securing export orders, but also assist emerging target markets with the transfer of German technical expertise and the creation of locally sourced environmental, economic, and intellectual value as well as lay a relevant building block for achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Project period and funding

The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and will run for three years (January 2021 to December 2023).

Contact info

Björn Zindler (b.zindler@offshore-stiftung.de)

Annika Höft (a.hoeft@offshore-stiftung.de)