Implementation of the Initiative for Cost Reduction Potential in Offshore Wind Energy (UKOW)

In collaboration with the involved industries, the UKOW project seeked to identify topics where regulations, directives or standards can be simplified in short- and medium term in order to leverage cost reduction potentials.


Irrespective of the positive developments of offshore wind energy, there is an intensive discussion about the cost of changing our energy supply to renewable energy sources. As a result, the competitiveness of offshore wind energy has also increasingly become a part of public discourse. This creates the risk that the development of this new technology is interrupted before its potential and learning effects can be realized. For this reason, it is of crucial importance that potential cost reduction measures are implemented as quickly as possible.

A study by Progos and Fichtner from 2013, which was commissioned by the German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation and other associations and companies in the industry, investigated possibilities for cost reduction. In particular, great potential was identified for licensing and certification costs as well as operating costs. Unlike such other European countries as Great Britain, Denmark and the Netherlands, which play a leading role in offshore wind energy, Germany has no extensive and decades-long expertise in the field of offshore oil and gas industry applications. Experience in both licensing and certification procedures for the installation of wind parks and in directives and regulations regarding operation is only gradually gained. At present, the corresponding regulatory framework and procedures in Germany are in many cases seen as too complex by companies in the industry (e.g. planners, developers and operators of offshore wind farms) compared with those in the other European countries.

Project goals and priorities

In close cooperation with the industry, topics were identified where simplification of regulations, guidelines or standards seems possible in the short to medium term and promised significant cost reduction potential. The regulatory framework for the identified topics was then compared with those in other European countries. Subsequently, an adaptation or simplification of relevant regulations, directives or standards was pursued together with companies and the authorities in charge. In this respect, account had to be taken of the extent to which existing national laws allow such measures to be implemented. The licensing procedure and the regulatory framework for the operation of offshore wind farms are relatively complex in Germany and changing regulations, guidelines and standards is often time-consuming.

Project partners

Ørsted Wind Power Germany GmbH • Trianel Windkraftwerk Borkum GmbH & Co. KG • EWE Erneuerbare Energien GmbH • RWE Innogy GmbH • E.ON Climate&Renewables GmbH • IBERDROLA Renovables Deutschland GmbH • Vattenfall Europe Windkraft GmbH • Global Tech I Offshore Wind GmbH • Wind MW GmbH • EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG • wpd offshore solutions GmbH • Northland Power Inc.

Deutsch WindGuard GmbH contributed expertise in the area of technical standards to allow evaluation of the topics to be identified and their feasibility from a technical point of view. The corresponding consulting activity is carried out by a subcontractor.

In addition, the VDMA Power Systems Association, in its capacity as an information and communication platform for wind turbine manufacturers and core components, and the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), the relevant licensing authority, had both pledged their support.

Project period and funding

December 2015 – November 2018. The project was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.

Download Fact Sheet (German PDF 870.43 KB)


Contact person

Dr. Dennis Kruse (