German Gov’t, Coastal States, TSOs Firm Up 2030 Commitment to 30 GW of Offshore Wind

Germany’s federal government, two Hanseatic cities, and four coastal states have signed an agreement with three transmission system operators (TSOs) to more closely coordinate the necessary steps to connect 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030, after the country raised its target at the beginning of this year.

The implementation agreement with the TSOs TenneT, Amprion, and 50Hertz was signed on 3 November by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the Hanseatic cities of Bremen and Hamburg, and four states whose coasts lie on the North and Baltic Seas: Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein.

The new agreement provides for a joint approach to installing and connecting further offshore wind capacity to the grid, as well as a common understanding with regard to area designation, nature and environmental compatibility, as well as coordination and administrative resources.

Since the parties involved will now start to closely coordinate the path to achieving the new 2030 goal, they will update the commitments signed under the offshore agreement from 2020, when the target was set to 20 GW by 2030.

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The German government officially increased offshore wind targets in April this year, as well as the timeline to reach them, with plans to have 30 GW of operational offshore wind by 2030, 40 GW by 2035, and at least 70 GW by 2045.

Shortly after this, the federal government started working on adjusting legislation to reach the new targets, including shortening permitting times for offshore wind projects.

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“The expansion of offshore wind energy is a key factor for the energy transition and the path to a climate-neutral society”, said Peter Barth, Managing Director of Amprion Offshore.

“Important decisions were made this year with the amendments to the law. Now it’s all about practical implementation. Amprion welcomes the offshore implementation agreement, which underpins the joint commitment of the federal government, the federal states and the offshore transmission system operators to achieve the goal”.

Tim Meyerjürgens, COO of TenneT, noted that planning, approval, and construction of the infrastructure for the development of 30 GW of offshore wind energy are very challenging for both the transmission system operators and the authorities of the federal and state governments.

“The agreement shows the great will of all stakeholders to implement the projects together and in close coordination. We welcome this and will support the process to the best of our ability, for example by establishing efficient technical standards through our 2 GW programme, development of onshore and offshore hubs for the long-term meshing of the DC grid at sea and on land, and smart sector coupling”, Meyerjürgens said.

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Frank Golletz, Technical Director at 50Hertz said that, in order to achieve the expansion goals, all involved need to connect even more closely, both technologically in the form of meshed offshore grids and internationally with partners across national borders.

“The hybrid interconnector Kriegers Flak – Combined Grid Solution between Germany and Denmark, which has been in operation since 2021, already provides the blueprint for what cross-border offshore interconnections could look like in the future”.

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The Bornholm Energy Island project by 50Hertz and Energinet will be another milestone towards power grids on or near the sea. The innovative project of a DC power hub in the Heide area in Schleswig-Holstein, which we want to implement together with TenneT, already contains elements of networking”, Golletz said.

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Photo: Matthias Wilhelm / 50Hertz/Illustration