Catch-up effects lead to offshore record in Germany

Wednesday, 20 January, 2016 - 09:45
2015 was a record year for offshore wind energy in Germany. But catch-up effects are creating a distorted image. (Illustration: Stiftung Offshore)
2015 was a record year for offshore wind energy in Germany. But catch-up effects are creating a distorted image. (Illustration: Stiftung Offshore)

In 2015, offshore wind turbines with a capacity of 2,282 MW were connected to the grid in Germany. This is on par with expectations expressed early on in 2015, but for now it will remain a one-off record: it was caused by catch-up effects due to previous problems with grid connections.

Last year, 546 offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 2,282 MW began feeding power into the grid in Germany. By 31 December 2015, a total of 792 plants with an overall capacity of 3,295 MW were connected to the grid. These figures were published by Deutsche WinGuard in its report 'Status of Offshore Wind Energy in Germany', which was commissioned by Arbeitsgemeinschaft Offshore-Windenergie (AGOW), Bundesverband WindEnergie (BWE), Stiftung Offshore-Windenergie, VDMA Power Systems and Windenergie-Agentur WAB.

According to the report, an additional 41 plants with a capacity of 246 MW were fully installed last year, but they were still waiting to be connected to the grid at the end of 2015. On top of this, 122 foundations were ready for wind turbines to be installed on them, and these will now follow in 2016.

According to AG Energiebilanzen e.V., approximately 8 TWh of electricity were produced at sea in 2015. This is equivalent to the electricity needs of more than 2 million households or approximately 1.4% of the gross power demand in Germany.

The offshore wind energy industry sees the unusually high amount of additional capacity installed last year as an exception. It can be traced back to the fact that there have been problems and delays with completing offshore grid connections since 2013 that were only resolved last year. The industry is predicting an expansion of approximately 700 MW in 2016. The unanimous industry opinion: "Only a continuous annual expansion volume of at least 900 MW from 2021 onward would form a solid basis for reducing the cost of offshore wind energy, securing value creation and industrial production in Germany and making an effective contribution to the security of supply in the long term."

Katharina Garus / Stiftung Offshore

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