The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Germans Push for More Renewable Energy; Offshore Wind To Benefit

Germany's federal government has hatched a plan to accelerate the expansion of the country's energy grid to transport more renewable energy, particularly from offshore wind farms, after Japan's nuclear disaster alerted voters in the Europe's largest electricity market of the pressing need for non-nuclear power.

Under the plan, the Economics Ministry would use its fast-track powers to expedite the approval process for building transmission routes, among other planned measures. To date, one of the main obstacles of upgrading Germany’s network to carry energy generated by solar and wind has been the country’s patchwork approval process.

Currently, the responsibility is shared between states and local communities. This arrangement has caused delays in the past, mostly by residents who oppose high-voltage transmission lines running above or below their property and who have filed lawsuits.

After a recent meeting of EU ministers in Brussels, German Economics Minister said the goal is to establish a system of uniform rules and, above all,” shorten the approval process.”

The German Energy Agency has calculated that more 4,000 kilometers of new high-voltage cable will be needed to transport energy from wind farms along Germany’s northern coastlines across the country. Estimated costs range from nearly €10 billion ($14 billion) for running cable over pylons and nearly three times as much if they have to be buried underground.

The German energy network is nearly 1.8 million kilometers long, with the general high-voltage transportation network accounting for more than 35,700 kilometers.

The scale of the challenge, according to the report, “is comparable with the infrastructure needs after unification” when Germany embarked on a massive program to rebuild crumbling roads, railways, telecommunication networks and energy grids in the eastern part of the country.

The need for a bigger and better national grid has been known for some time. But now the German government is being pressured to act, with a growing number of voters calling for an end to nuclear energy – and with elections around the corner.

In addition to the approval process, the plan includes several others measures. Among them: a financing package, including venture capital from Germany’s state development bank KFW; and shorter but therefore higher feed-in-tariffs for the energy fed into the power grid from wind farms.  

The plan envisions raising the tariffs paid to the operators of offshore wind farms from €0.15 to €0.18 per kilowatt-hour. That is roughly three times the going rate for energy on spot markets. In return for the higher rate, the subsidy’s duration would be reduced from 14 to nine years.

The government also hopes to resolve a Catch-22 situation that has added to delays in expanding Germany’s energy grid. Although operators are required by law to connect wind farms, they often won’t guarantee a connection until the wind farms have secured financing. And the banks, for their part, typically demand to see a connection before they give the green light to financing.

Environmental Minister Norbert Roettgen has also thrown his support behind the plan, saying that a fast expansion of the network “is a central prerequisite for the expansion of renewable energies.”

The German Wind Energy Association (BWE) expects a push to expand wind power in the country would see the number of people employed in the sector grow from 6,500 today to 13,350 by 2020.

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Fresh blow for wind power in Australia

Diarmaid Williams

Another blow has been dealt to the wind power industry in Australia with the news that a Senate committee has advocated new limits to the subsidization of the technology.

World Moves Toward 100 Percent Renewable Energy – First Electricity, Then Heating/Cooling, and Finally Transportation

Junko Movellan, Correspondent The exclusive use of energy from renewable resources in at least one sector has now become a feasible goal for 8 countries. Diane Moss, Founding Director of Renewables 100 Policy Institute, discussed this remarkable develop...

How Wind Turbines are Becoming Photocopiers – and the Cost to Investors

Guy Auger, Greensolver We all know that the wind turbine market in Europe is an oligopoly. Power resides in the hands of very few players — and, in the offshore space, just five manufacturers (OEMs) account for 100 percent of the turbines that we...

Siemens receives onshore wind orders for UK and Ireland

Diarmaid Williams

Siemens Wind Power and Renewables Division has been awarded orders, which when in place, will be capable of delivering power to over 100,000 households across Britain and Ireland.

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

2015 AREDAY Summit

The 12th Annual AREDAY Summit, August 8-13th in Snowmass Colorado. Engag...

StartUp Green

AREI, American Renewable Energy Institute, in partnership with ...

COMPANY BLOGS

Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

Fact Check: AWEA represents American wind power

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is proud of its members for ...

Koch Professor drops his Koch title, still makes same errors plus s...

The Koch Professor’s title isn’t the only thing that’s...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS