Offshore Wind in Germany – Status Quo and Prospects

Stenzel, Bastian; Jakob Eckardt, and Martin Skiba 2022: Offshore Wind in Germany. Status Quo and Prospects. Berlin: adelphi.

Offshore wind plays an important role in Germany to achieve its climate and energy goals, reduce volatility in a renewable-dominated power grid, lower electricity costs, increase grid flexibility through international grid connections, and potentially produce green hydrogen in the future. Germany has seen a relatively quick buildup of offshore wind energy since 2010 – with a currently installed capacity of 7.8 gigawatt (GW) in roundabout 1,500 turbines (as of December 2021), contributing 4.9% to the net electricity generation.

As part of the federal government‘s coalition agreement and latest amendment to the Wind-at-Sea Law, Germany’s offshore wind capacity deployment targets were increased strongly to at least 30 GW by 2030, 40 GW by 2035, and 70 GW by 2045. To reach those targets, larger tender rounds for the next years are planned, new auction designs were introduced, and new offshore wind areas for approximately 60 GW installed capacity were specified. However, it remains to be seen whether Germany will be able to accelerate deployment sufficiently to meet its new targets, as numerous challenges remain, including length of permitting processes, implementation of tender criteria, and creation of sufficient supply chain, port, and grid connection capacity.

This presentation first gives an overview over the status quo of offshore wind energy in Germany, including the regulatory framework, grid infrastructure, and domestic supply chain. Building on this, lessons for a successful policy framework are drawn before outlining prospects and challenges for the development of the German offshore wind sector at the end.

The presentation was prepared in close cooperation with Prof. Dr. Martin Skiba, Board Member, German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation.