US offshore wind experts visit Germany

The climate and energy partnership between Germany and the USA was not made official until the end of May with the signing of a declaration. Just a few weeks later, however, a US delegation visited Germany to discuss offshore wind.


High-ranking decision-makers from federal and state organisations met German experts in Berlin and northern Germany as part of a week-long visit. Like Germany, the USA intends to expand offshore wind energy to 30 gigawatts by 2030 – as of now, however, the country has hardly installed any capacity. In light of this, the visitors were highly motivated to learn more about wind energy in Germany.

On the first day of their trip, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) welcomed the participants and introduced the background, goals and status of the German energy transition. The delegation also learned about the growing role of offshore wind energy in the strategy of the federal government: by the year 2045, the capacity of offshore wind farms is to be increased to 70 gigawatts. In turn, representatives of the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management provided a brief introduction to US energy policy and power grid infrastructure as well as the current role of offshore wind energy.

Offshore wind farm tour and industry get-together

The discussion also focused on regulatory issues related to the expansion of offshore wind energy and direct exchange with industry representatives. Among other things, the delegation took a sightseeing flight over offshore wind farms in the North Sea, north of the island of Heligoland. They also visited the RWE control room on Heligoland, which coordinates the work on the Kaskasi wind farm construction site.

On the last day of the delegation trip, the participants met other stakeholders in Hamburg. For instance, Dr. Nico Nolte, Head of the Department for the Order of the Sea at the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, gave a lecture on the approval of offshore wind farms, substations, service platforms, measurement masts, offshore hydrogen production and transport infrastructures on land. The participants also discussed proposals on how the capacity building of offshore wind energy and the associated supply chains could be accelerated and what is needed to achieve this. The delegation trip ended with presentations by the US participants on the findings from the meetings and on-site visits as well as a final feedback discussion on the next steps and possible future cooperation topics.

The Berlin-based Renewables Academy (RENAC) organised the delegation trip in cooperation with adelphi and the German-American Chamber of Commerce (GACC). The trip took place as part of the US-Germany Climate and Energy Partnership that started in May. The implementation of this cooperation is supported by a “German Support Office”, formed by adelphi (contact: Bastian Stenzel) together with the German American Chambers of Commerce (GACCs) in the USA. Further information on the climate and energy partnership is available here.

Contact: Bastian Stenzel, Senior Manager in the field of energy

Participants of the delegation trip:

  • James F. Bennet, Program Manager, Chief of the Office of Renewable Energy Programs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • Jocelyn Brown-Saracino, Offshore Wind Lead, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Judy Chang, Undersecretary of Energy and Climate Solutions, Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Genevra Harker-Klimes, Offshore Energy Advisor, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Carrie Cullen Hitt, Executive Director, National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium
  • Eric Johnson, Director, External Affairs, ISO New England
  • Sam Jung, Assistant Vice President, New York City Economic Development Corporation
  • Jonathan Kennedy, Managing Director – Infrastructure, New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA)
  • Kris Ohleth, Director – Infrastructure, Special Initiative on Offshore Wind
  • Kenneth Seiler, Vice President Planning, PJM Interconnection
  • Mark Thompson, Commissioner, Oregon Public Utility Commission
  • Erin Trager, International Relations Specialist, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • Eileen Woll, Offshore Energy Program Director, Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority, Sierra Club Virginia Chapter
  • Frederick Zalcman, Director, New York Offshore Wind Alliance