German offshore wind tops 3.5GW

GERMANY: Offshore wind capacity grew modestly with just 43 turbines, totalling 258MW, being newly commissioned in German waters in the first half of 2016.

Germany connected 43 offshore turbines in the first half of 2016
Germany connected 43 offshore turbines in the first half of 2016

Germany had a total of 835 offshore turbines, with a combined capacity of 3,552MW, turning at the end of June 2016.

A further 54 turbines with 324MW were installed but not yet grid connected. Another 1486MW was under construction, and final investment decisions for a further 810MW had been taken by mid-2016.

The total is down from the record 2.3GW installed in the first half of 2015. 

Additions for whole year 2016 are expected to reach about 700MW, according to the latest data from Deutsche WindGuard for the German wind energy sector.

Another 1,469MW of offshore projects have been granted a transmission grid allocation, opening the way to financing and implementation, which will boost German offshore capacity to roughly 7.7GW by the end of 2020.

Looking further ahead, and in view of growing offshore turbine and project size, the German wind industry is appalled by the cap of just 500MW offshore wind growth per year in 2021 and 2022 set by the recently passed Renewable Energy Act 2017.

In shrinking the market by a third, it is clear it won't be possible to maintain the 20,000 jobs in the offshore wind sector, especially as the biggest export market looks considerably less secure since the "Brexit" decision, according to a joint statement by five German wind and energy organisations: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Offshore-Windenergie, Bundesverband WindEnergie, Stiftung Offshore-Windenergie, WAB and VDMA Power Systems.

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