Joint press information: Expansion of offshore wind energy 2023 - The focus must be on project realisation!
- In 2023, 27 offshore wind turbines with a capacity of 257 MW were commissioned and an additional 74 new foundations were installed.
- To achieve the statutory expansion targets, the expansion must increase significantly by 2030 - energy and industrial policy must interlock to achieve this.
- The offshore wind industry's supply chain needs more security to be able to invest quickly - this requires adjustments to the Offshore Wind Energy Act (Windenergie-auf-See-Gesetz).
- Investment decisions for harbour and construction infrastructure must be politically supported by the federal and state governments to achieve the common goals.
Berlin, Bremerhaven, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Rostock, 30 January 2024 - The industry associations of the German offshore wind industry and the non-profit OFFSHORE-WINDENERGIE foundation today presented the expansion figures for the full year 2023. The figures prepared by the consulting company Deutsche WindGuard show that a total of 27 turbines with a capacity of 257 megawatts (MW) fed into the electricity grid for the first time in Germany in 2023 and 74 new foundations were installed. In total, 29 offshore wind projects with an installed capacity of 8,465 MW or 1,566 turbines are currently in operation in Germany. Three further projects are under construction. Two of these, with a planned total capacity of 718 MW, are due to be commissioned this year.
"It is pleasing to see that offshore wind construction is slowly picking up speed again. At the same time, it is clear that offshore wind turbines with an additional capacity of 21.5 GW will have to be commissioned over the next 7 years in order to achieve the political target of at least 30 GW of offshore wind energy by the end of 2030. This corresponds to an average of 3.1 GW per year. However, political expansion targets alone do not create an industrial policy basis for implementation. The focus must therefore now shift to project realisation. In order to cope with this considerable upcoming expansion volume, the offshore wind value chain needs industrial policy measures - for example in the area of providing financing instruments - as well as a regulatory framework that enables the necessary investments. The political goals must become reliable awards and investment decisions," commented the industry organisations BWE, BWO, Stiftung OFFSHORE-WINDENERGIE, VDMA Power Systems, WAB e.V. and WindEnergy Network e.V. on the further expansion.
Adaptation of the Offshore Wind Energy Act necessary
The industry is committed to adapting the Offshore Wind Energy Act (WindSeeG) for both forms of tendering as quickly as possible. The aim is to remove obstacles to project realisation and to strengthen the offshore wind industry in Germany and Europe. "By signing the Wind Energy Charter in December 2023, the German government has sent a strong signal that it is in favour of the EU Commission's Wind Power Package and that it will implement the proposed effective industrial policy measures. The government is thus making a clear commitment to inflation adjustment and qualitative criteria - both in the pre-qualification and award phase - and is taking a stand against uncapped, purely quantitative bids. The tender design must therefore be changed immediately.
For the Offshore Wind Energy Act, this means that the current design of bid payments and bid components creates considerable financial pressure on the supply chain and on future electricity prices, particularly for industry. This is not in line with the political goal of project realisation and the lowest possible electricity generation costs for German industry. Bid payments should therefore be capped. It is also important to establish transparency and clear limits in the bidding process that maintain the diversity of players in the German offshore wind sector and do not unnecessarily jeopardise the actual realisation of projects. The qualitative criteria - such as the trainee quota and the proportion of renewable energy in turbine production - must be adapted, as they are unclear in their current form and create hurdles for the offshore wind industry. Qualitative criteria should be harmonised as far as possible at European level to ensure economies of scale. The German government must work to ensure that the EU Net-Zero Industry Act establishes a binding framework for a level playing field and technological resilience. It is essential for the competitive balance in the wind industry that binding and non-discriminatory as well as standardised and easily verifiable pre-qualification criteria (e.g. in cyber security) are established throughout Europe. In addition, clarity about offshore electrolysis projects within the framework of the SEN 1 tender and beyond must be created as quickly as possible," the industry representatives agree.
Expansion of port infrastructure and construction capacities
A focused financing strategy from the federal government, federal states and the EU for the value chain, for example with regard to port and construction infrastructure, is necessary in order to cover order risks and at the same time enable investment security. Investment decisions must be made as quickly as possible for the creation of additional capacities in seaports in Germany, such as logistics centers, heavy-duty storage areas and quayside facilities at manufacturers and seaports as well as hinterland connections. This also applies to ships for transport and construction as well as the subsequent operation of offshore wind turbines. We are heading for a considerable bottleneck here if the expansion continues to pick up.
About the commissioners of the annual figures "Status of offshore wind energy expansion in Germany"
About the German Windenergy Association (BWE)
The German Windenergy Association (BWE) is partner to over 3,000 companies in the wind energy industry and represents the interests of about 20,000 members. The entire know-how of a multifaceted industry is pooled through BWE.
About Bundesverband Windenergie Offshore e.V. (BWO)
The aim of the BWO is to represent the political interests of the offshore wind industry in Germany. The BWO acts as central point of contact for politicians and authorities at federal and state level for all questions relating to offshore wind energy.
About the German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation
The non-profit organization’s overall purpose is to consolidate the role of offshore wind energy in the energy mix of the future in Germany and Europe and to promote its expansion in the interests of environmental and climate protection. Since 2005, it has been established as a non-partisan, supra-regional and cross-sector think tank as well as an independent communication platform for the entire offshore wind energy industry.
About VDMA Power Systems
The trade association VDMA Power Systems and its working groups represent the interests of manufacturers and suppliers of power and heat generation plants.
About WAB e.V.
Bremerhaven-based WAB is the nationwide contact partner for the offshore wind industry in Germany and the leading business network for onshore wind energy in the north-west region. The association fosters the production of “green” hydrogen from wind energy. It comprises some 250 SMEs as well as institutes from all sectors of the wind and maritime industry as well as research.
About WindEnergy Network e.V (WEN)
WEN is the leading business network for wind energy in the northeast region with currently about 100 member companies. The aim is to expand the industrial base and regional value creation in the future sector of renewable energies. Thematic focal points are onshore and offshore wind energy, maritime technologies in connection with offshore wind and the development of green hydrogen.
Bundesverband WindEnergie e.V.
Bundesverband Windenergie Offshore e.V. (BWO)
VDMA Power Systems
WindEnergy Network e.V.