Germany publishes offshore wind area development plan

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: Tom Russell 23/01/2023 BMWK

The Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) of Germany has published the area development plan (FEP) 2023 together with the environmental reports as part of the strategic environmental assessment. The plan aims to help move the country towards achieving the expansion target of 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030. 

According to German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) it also to lays the foundation for the expansion target of 40 GW in 2035 to be exceeded by 10 GW .

By the year 2030, the existing capacity must be almost quadrupled from the current 8 GW to 30 GW and almost 22 GW must be added. This goal was included in the coalition agreement and made legally binding in the recently amended Wind Offshore Act (WindSeeG). 

With the area FEP, the BSH defines areas in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the North Sea and Baltic Sea on which future offshore wind farms will be erected. At the same time, it determines how and when these areas are to be put out to tender, when the wind farms are to be connected to the onshore power grid and it regulates the technical principles for the connection lines. The Strategic Environmental Assessment identified, described and assessed the potential impacts of implementing the plan on the marine environment.

According to the FEP, a total capacity of 36.5 GW can be installed on the areas. The plan also stipulates which areas are to be advertised according to the respective tendering process (with and without a preliminary investigation of the areas). A test field for the promotion of research and development in coastal waters has also been defined.

The area development plan already lays the foundation for a European offshore power grid in which the individual wind farms can be connected to one another. Results from international working groups such as the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) are taken into account . Among other things, cable routes for connecting the offshore platforms and the connection capacities to be provided on the platforms are specified.

Furthermore, the FEP identified an area in the North Sea, which can be connected with a hydrogen pipeline. The area is anticipated to allow an electrolysis capacity of up to 1 GW.

Federal Minister (BMWK) Robert Habeck : “The expansion of offshore wind energy is a mammoth task in itself. I am all the more pleased that we can report successes here so quickly. In addition to the offshore agreement from last November, the BSH area development plan is another part of our master plan to achieve the high goals for the expansion of renewable energies. With the publication, we show that we are serious about planning acceleration and are consistently advancing the expansion of renewable energies. Within a very short time, we are creating reliable framework conditions for ramping up all the necessary capacities. Now it's time to implement it!"

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.