German offshore wind's share in overall renewables' electricity output is increasing, but remains very small, serving to underline the urgent need to overcome grid connection delays that are keeping developers from building capacity as scheduled.
In the first 9 months of 2012, offshore wind generated a total 0.44TWh, compared with 0.38TWh in the same period of 2011. This represents a 15.8% increase. Meanwhile, overall renewables generation within Germany from January to September amounted to 106TWh, up from100TWh over the same period in 2011.
Further growth in German offshore wind capacity is expected over the coming year, as several projects are currently under construction, including Meerwind Sud/Ost, Dan Tysk and Global Tech 1.
Another useful measure against which to compare the achievements of the German offshore sector is the UK, which is home to the world's largest offshore wind capacity. While statistics for the first nine months of the year are not yet available, UK offshore wind farms generated 1.6TWh during the three month period of April-June alone. Quarterly growth rates in UK offshore wind electricity generation have recently been reached close to, or at, 50%.
For 2012 as a whole, offshore wind projects in German waters are expected to contribute 0.65-0.7TWh, compared with 0.57TWh for 2011, according to a forecast released by statistics organisation Arbeitsgruppe Erneuerbare Energien. Overall renewables generation for 2012 is forecast at 140.5TWh.