Auctioning highlighted at Franco-German wind conference

GERMANY: The pros and cons of auctioning offshore wind projects was one of the highlights at the second German-French offshore wind conference in Bremerhaven on 20-21 February 2014.

The French offshore industry already has experience in finding a price for offshore wind generation support through auctions and can contribute know-how to Germany on advantages and pitfalls, according to Ronny Meyer, managing director of wind agency WAB.

The company organised the event together with the German-French office for renewable energies (DFBEE).

The German federal government plans to introduce auctions for offshore wind from 2020, but the situation is complicated because, unlike in France, the starting point is not a blank slate. Many offshore projects are already permitted or developers have laid claim to locations for projects that are now in the permitting procedure.

The government's lack of a clear roadmap on how to proceed may cause investors to postpone offshore wind initiatives, worsening the medium term-outlook for the already suffering offshore wind sector.

The Franco-German offshore cooperation could also allow Germany to potentially contribute on ways to solve offshore wind conflicts with the fishing sector, which have been more heated in France.

European collaboration is needed as fishing is excluded from offshore wind locations causing the industry to seek new fishing areas in waters traditionally used by other countries' fishing industries, Meyer told Windpower Offshore

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