Interlinking the Maritime Industry with the Offshore Wind Energy Industry Sector 2


Offshore wind energy is an important building block of the German Energiewende – the energy transition to renewable sources. However, the offshore wind energy sector is still very young; the first offshore wind farm in Germany only launched in 2010. In order to achieve the expansion target of 6.5 GW required by the German government by 2020, intensive cooperation between different industries, in particular the supplier, port, shipyard, insurer, banking, investment and operator industries, is needed.

The project “Interlinking the Maritime Industry with the Offshore Wind Energy Sector” started with an initial term in 2010 and was successfully completed in March 2012. Due to the positive response and further need for action, the project was again approved by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy in autumn 2013 and started again in September 2013 with an additional two-year term.

Project objectives and priorities

The overall objective of the project, together with stakeholders from companies, associations and policy makers, is to create a framework to promote value creation in the area of offshore wind energy in Germany.

During the first project phase, the working group “Interlinking the Maritime Industry with the Offshore Wind Energy Sector” was set up in 2010. Within the working group, four specialist groups were established: ports and investors in offshore wind farms, international regulations and standardization, training and offshore code of practice. Through close and constructive cooperation, the first few problem areas were discussed and corresponding recommendations for action were submitted to the German government.

The second phase of the project builds on the results from the first project period. Within the framework of meetings, conferences and workshops, cooperation between the two sectors is further promoted and intensified. The project also includes key objectives of the National Masterplan for Maritime Technology (NMMT) and is thus an important building block for the implementation of the defined measures within the NMMT Action Plan. The following work packages are dealt with as part of the project:

WP 1 Review of the current status of cooperation between the German maritime industry and the offshore wind energy industry

In close cooperation with the stakeholders and specialist groups, the recommendations for actions and tasks developed so far are analysed. It is also essential to identify and establish offshore wind energy initiatives to avoid overlaps.

WP 2 Elaboration of a concept for the development of seaports

There is an urgent need for expansion, particularly for quayside facilities and capacities at German seaports for the offshore wind energy sector. The conclusions and recommendations of the study “Elaboration of Opportunities and Challenges for the Port Industry in the Course of Offshore Wind Energy Developments” are set to be integrated. Furthermore, communication between port operators and offshore wind farm investors has to be intensified. In this work package, the expert group on harbours/investors in offshore wind parks is particularly active.

WP 3 Definition of possible fields of action for the German shipbuilding industry

This work package is intended to further promote EU-wide development and harmonization of regulations and standards for the offshore wind energy sector (especially minimum requirements for service, installation vessels, and safety-related personnel training). Reference projects in the industrial and technological fields must be supported by reliable instruments in order to generate added value for Germany. Initial successes have already been achieved by the specialist group on international regulations and standardization.

WP 4 Development of strategies for education and training

A current need for action is to determine the existing and future training programs in an orderly manner and to present them in an online catalogue. This catalogue is intended to serve as guideline for the demand side well as for the jobseekers. The specialist group on education and training has adopted this theme and the completion of the catalogue is in progress.

WP 5 Definitions of maritime safety and health protection measures

  1. Development of uniform and globally valid regulations and standards for occupational safety during the construction and operation of offshore wind turbines. Close collaboration with the expert group international regulations and standardization is planned. In addition, the working group Offshore Design – Permitability has been constituted. The aim is to create a map which shows the influence of different guidelines in the different approval phases of an offshore wind farm project. Not only technical factors are to be taken into account; other framework conditions are also crucially linked to occupational safety and maritime safety.
  2. Clarification of responsibilities between the German federal government, the German states, the maritime industry and the offshore wind energy sector.

In March 2013 the round table on “Maritime Security Partnership” was established. In particular, it promotes dialogue between the German federal Government, the German states and companies involved in offshore wind energy. Participants in the round table deal with the clarification of state or corporate responsibility for security in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well as questions of emergency services (decentralised/central), medical training, first aid training of the staff and the definition of “complex rescue” in addition to other legal questions. 

Project partners:

  • Gesellschaft für Maritime Technik e.V. (GMT)
  • Zentralverband Deutscher Seehafenbetriebe e.V. (ZDS)
  • Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V. (VDMA)
  • Verband Deutscher Reeder e.V. (VDR)
  • Verband für Schiffbau und Meerestechnik e.V. (VSM)

Project period and funding

September 2013 – December 2015. The project was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy.

Contact person

Dr. Stephanie Wehkamp