German government amends offshore wind plan

GERMANY: The German government has agreed an additional 1.2GW of offshore wind can be permitted to ensure the country can hit its 2020 offshore target.

The amendment was agreed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her economics minister Sigmar Gabriel and the premiers of the federal states in talks on the upcoming revision of the Renewable Energy Act that ended late in the evening of 1 April.

The chances of many permitted offshore projects being implemented are not very high, explained Gabriel. If the given expansion course to 6.5GW is exceeded, this can be adjusted in the ensuing years so no additional costs are to be expected.

The planned reduction in support rates for offshore wind will also be smaller, a government statement said. There were no other details.

The plan until now was that payments in the "compressed" option, which expires in 2019, would not stay constant at EUR 0.19/kW (paid for eight years and after that, at reduced rates) as under current law, but would fall to EUR 0.18/kWh in 2018 and EUR 0.17/kWh in 2019.

The agreement up to now for the "standard" model (EUR 0.15/kWh for 20 years) would have seen an annual decrease of EUR 0.05/kWh from 2018: 2017 = EUR 0.15/kWh, 2018 = EUR 0.145/kWh and so on.

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