TenneT highlights importance of North Sea wind

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 26/07/2021 TenneT

Dutch-German transmission system operator TenneT has announced that, in the first half of 2021, the wind energy it transmitted from the German North Sea to shore amounted to 9.673 TWh. Although this is around 16 percent less than in the first half of 2020 (11.51 TWh), the share of North Sea electricity in total wind power generation in Germany rose to 16.63 percent, according to TenneT. This is 6.6 per cent more than in the first half of 2020, when the North Sea share was 15.6 per cent of total wind power generation.

In the Netherlands, TenneT's offshore grid connections transmitted 2.38 TWh in the first half of the year, 30 percent more than in the whole of 2020 (1.82 TWh).  This is due to further expansion and the commissioning of the Borssele Beta offshore grid connection system in the second half of 2020. A further 1.5 TWh was fed directly into the Dutch TenneT grid onshore from Dutch offshore wind farms in the first half of 2021.

"The decline in offshore wind energy fed into the German grid is purely weather-related,"
said TenneT COO Tim Meyerjürgens, "there was simply less wind on the German North Sea in the first half of 2021 than in the first half of 2020". He added that this was even more true for the German onshore wind output, which fell by almost 22 per cent in the same comparison period - from around 60 TWh to around 47 TWh.

Tim Meyerjürgens continued: "Especially in years with less wind, the ratio of wind energy generated shifts towards offshore. There we generate on average about twice as many full-load hours as onshore and can thus partially compensate for lulls onshore. This shows the importance of the further expansion of offshore wind energy for security of supply and for a successful energy transition."

TenneT stated that it is facing technical challenges as the result of politicians increasing climate targets and electricity demand expectations. The company stated that it is moving full speed on further grid expansion on land and at sea. It operates more than half of all offshore grid connections capacity in the EU. By 2030, TenneT aims to realise 16 more connections and provide almost 29 GW of wind power transmission capacity in the North Sea. In the same period, TenneT expects to invest around 20 billion euros in the Netherlands and Germany for this purpose.
Tim Meyerjürgens remarked: "In order to achieve the increasingly ambitious climate and expansion targets in Europe, our constant technical innovations are leading the way. The expansion steps in the offshore grid from 700-megawatt AC and 900-megawatt DC connections to future DC connections with two gigawatt capacity give our projects the necessary thrust for a successful energy transition. And we need more bold ideas to consistently develop and improve the offshore grid."

In the German North Sea, the maximum value of the feed-in capacity of offshore wind farms in the first half of 2021 was measured on 29 January at 6,357 MW. In the Netherlands, the maximum value was 2,252 MW on 19 January 2021. The capacity of Dutch offshore wind farms was 2,440 MW on the cut-off date of 30 June 2021.

In the German North Sea, the capacity expansion of offshore wind farms is stagnating. Capacity has remained unchanged at 6,679 MW since 2020.

Wind turbines in the Baltic Sea (50Hertz grid area) generated 1.819 TWh in the first half of 2021, 17.5 per cent less than in the first half of 2020 (2.205 TWh). Germany's total offshore wind output in the North Sea and Baltic Sea was therefore 11.492 TWh in the first half of 2021.

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