German offshore wind vital to EU target

Germany’s plan for a massive expansion of offshore wind farms has now been approved by the European Commission. The goal is to ramp up the construction target from 15 GW by 2030 to 20 GW. By 2040 the goal is to have wind farms that provide 40 GW of capacity.

The plan will include a price premium over 20 years to developers of designated offshore wind locations allocated through “open and transparent competitive tenders”, the Commission stated. Subsidies will be granted to developers submitting the lowest bids. The Commission’s approval for the plan is valid until 2026.

A contribution of 20 GW offshore wind capacity by 2030 would bring the EU closer to the target of 60 GW by 2030 set by the EU Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy that the EU Commission tabled last year. It mapped out the regulatory framework for the expansion and set a target of 300 GW for offshore wind for the EU by 2050, 25 times more than the EU has today.

Europe invested €26.3 billion in new offshore wind farms in 2020, financing 7.1 GW of new capacity, despite the COVID pandemic, according to WindEurope. “€26 billion in new investments in 2020 is a huge vote of confidence in offshore wind. Investors see that offshore wind is cheap, reliable, and resilient – and that governments want more of it,” said Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope. Dickson added “Let’s keep up this momentum. We now need a comprehensive legislative framework for hybrid offshore wind projects, improved maritime spatial planning and streamlined permitting procedures to unleash the full potential of Europe’s offshore wind”.

Source: ENDS, March 30th 2021

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