Published on April 17th, 2015 | by Joshua S Hill40
European Commission Approves Germany’s 30 Billion Euro Investment In Offshore Wind
April 17th, 2015 by Joshua S Hill
The European Commission announced approval on Thursday for Germany to invest nearly 30 billion euros into the development of 20 offshore wind farms, following the country’s decision to back away from nuclear power and focus on renewables.
An investment of this magnitude needed to be scrutinized by Europe’s governing body so that it did not violate any state aid rules. The European Commission’s findings that Germany’s plans did not violate EU state aid rules allows the country to proceed with its plans.
Germany notified the EU of its plans to invest in 17 wind farms set to be located in the North Sea, and another 3 in the Baltic Sea.
Each of the wind farms range from 252 MW to 688 MW, and in total amount to 7 GW of new renewable energy capacity. Germany will invest €29.3 billion into the projects, which will begin producing electricity by the end of 2019 at the latest.
Germany has long been a leading wind power developer, and returned to form in 2014 by installing 5.1 GW of new wind energy. The European Wind Energy Association in a report published in February of this year, reported that “Germany remains the EU country with the largest installed capacity,” with a total of just under 40 GW. In fact, Germany and the UK accounted for 59.5% of all new installations in 2014.
However, Germany has only recently been focusing its attention on offshore wind, and passed the 1 GW cumulative mark for the first time this year. According to a report by Deutsche WindGuard, at the end of 2014 Germany had a total of 258 offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 1,049.2 MW.
“Out at sea we have now officially broken through the gigawatt barrier for installed capacity,” said Norbert Giese, chairman of the VDMA steering committee for the offshore wind industry and board member of the German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation.
And Germany is expecting even more from 2015:
“In 2015 we are expecting up to 2 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity to be newly connected to the grid. By the end of 2015, we will see a total of some 3 gigawatts installed capacity online, which corresponds to an investment of 10 billion euros in the domestic market of the German offshore wind industry.”
So with 3 GW connected by the end of 2015, and another 7 GW to be connected by the end of 2019, Germany is well on track to becoming a leader in European offshore wind energy as well.
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