German Offshore Wind Expansion

Obstacles Slow Offshore Wind Expansion in Germany

Written by Green Chip Stocks
Posted March 23, 2012 at 6:36PM

In an effort to expand offshore wind parks, the German government is planning to hold talks with the development bank KfW to help offset some of the cost.

As you know, Germany is feverishly trying to expand its offshore wind presence to make up for the nuclear power generation that will soon go gently into that good night.

The country plans to install 7,600 megawatts (MW) in offshore wind parks by 2020 and over 25,000 MW by 2030. These ambitious targets in wind energy have been a huge motivator for the pro-wind folks, but concerns over regulation have caused some plans to stall.

You see, there is currently a liability issue that involves grid operators having to compensate wind park operators should any power lines break down. This particular issue is causing enough trepidation to scare off some companies from building connections to offshore parks, thus investors don't have a guarantee they will be able to sell their power.

German officials are hoping that with involvement from KfW, the government can move quicker to not only expand the country's offshore wind presence, but also tackle the current regulatory issues.

Bottom line: The Germans are running a race uphill with kettle bells attached to their legs.

That's not to say the country won't reach its very aggressive goals, but it will have to double down on its efforts.

Last month, E.ON told reporters that the Tennet-operated grid will be connected to the offshore Amrumbank wind park a full 15 months later than expected.

Germany cannot afford any further delays.