Germany said on Friday it has drawn up new development plans for offshore wind turbine sites to reach a target for 30 gigawatts (GW) of installed wind power capacity by 2030.
The plans by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) will ensure that the target can be met, the Economy Ministry said in a statement. Moreover, there would be enough space for 40 GW by 2035, and possibly more than 10 GW on top of that by that date.
When the current government took power in late 2021, its coalition agreement stipulated 30 GW wind power, adding 10 GW to previous plans. "The BSH plan, alongside our offshore agreement of November 2022 (with states and power grid operators), is another piece in our master plan to reach the high goals for the expansion of renewable energies," Economy Minister Robert Habeck said.
The plans represent a quadrupling of the current capacity, which amounts to 8 GW. That statement gave no details of the plans. Offshore wind turbines in the open sea have higher full-load hours than land-based ones, which appeals to investors and makes the renewable energy source suitable to help Germany hit carbon reduction goals as it withdraws from coal, gas, and oil in coming years.
Germany aims to derive 80% of its power from clean sources by 2030, compared with just under half in 2022. To speed up development of the offshore sites and override other uses, offshore wind has been declared to be of high public interest, and measures to create links to onshore electricity networks have been accelerated.
Because offshore wind can be turned into clean hydrogen via electrolysis plants, plans for a North Sea-originating pipeline to carry 1 GW hydrogen were also integrated. There are also provisions to integrate Germany's turbines into a wider offshore network encompassing North Sea-bordering European neighbours.
(Reuters - Reporting by Markus Wacket and Vera Eckert, editing by Sharon Singleton)