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German offshore wind capacity up 818 MW in 2016 to 4,108 MW

Staff Writer |
German offshore wind developers connected 156 new wind turbines with a capacity of 818 MW to the national grid in 2016, bringing total grid-connected offshore wind capacity to 4,108 MW, German wind power lobby groups said.

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Last year lags behind 2015 when German offshore wind capacity tripled to 3.3 GW after grid link bottlenecks in the North Sea eased with eight North Sea projects finally coming online.

For 2017, the lobby groups forecast 1,400 MW of new capacity followed by an average of 1,000 MW for 2018 and 2019 set to bring installed offshore capacity to around 7.5 GW by end-2019, ahead of the government's reduced 6.5 GW target for 2020.

Germany is moving from set feed-in-tariffs to competitive auctions for all new renewable projects with the first offshore wind auction planned for April this year with some 1,500 MW of new projects tendered for the 2021 to 2025 period.

According to the lobby groups, cost reductions for new offshore projects will also come to Germany after the latest tendering results in Denmark and the Netherlands have shown a remarkable drop in costs even if conditions in Germany are not exactly as in Denmark or the Netherlands.

Expected grid bottlenecks, especially in the North Sea, will limit new capacity auctions for 2021/22 with the government's new long-term target set at 15 GW by 2030.

Offshore wind turbines in German waters generated some 13 TWh of electricity in 2016, up 57% on year with TSOs estimating around 20 TWh of offshore wind this year based on average wind conditions, it said.

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