Wind power industry calls for more speed in offshore expansion

Bremerhaven (dpa) – The offshore industry is convinced that a significantly faster expansion of wind farms and entry into hydrogen production on the high seas are essential for achieving the climate targets.

The The new federal government must noticeably increase the pace on this issue, demanded the chief executive of the wind industry and hydrogen association WAB, Jens Assheuer, in Bremerhaven. “We have to step on the gas now to achieve the goals.”

When expanding offshore capacities, an intermediate goal of 35 gigawatts ( GW) installed capacity up to 2035 necessary – to which the need for green hydrogen from wind energy at sea must also be calculated. It is currently around 7.8 GW. The federal government is planning an offshore expansion from 40 GW to 2040. In addition to Assheuer, Lower Saxony’s Environment and Energy Minister Olaf Lies (SPD) and Bremen’s Senator for Economic Affairs Kristina Vogt (left) found that “Far too little”.

“We know that the potential is at least 60 gigawatts. And we will need them in order to achieve the ambitious goals for climate protection, ”emphasized Vogt at the start of the Windforce Conference 2021 in Bremerhaven. Around 200 representatives from politics, business and science will take part in the industry meeting until Wednesday.

The offshore industry is pushing for rapid approval procedures for areas for hydrogen -Manufacture directly on the wind turbines. After production, the hydrogen would then have to be brought ashore by ship or pipeline.

For green hydrogen, wind, sun, biomass or hydropower are used as renewable energy sources to operate water electrolysis. Water (H2O) is electrified, splitting into elemental hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2). Hydrogen can then be stored in tanks under high pressure.

Lies warned the potential coalition partners in Berlin that they wanted to solve every “small-small” question about renewable energies. He proposed a commission similar to the coal commission. The question is how socially acceptable is implemented. For example, it must be determined how many wind turbines there should be on land and at sea and how much photovoltaics there should be. “That has to be clarified once, and in the end there has to be a result that is recorded in parliament,” said the SPD politician entered into force in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). It paves the way for the first calls for tenders 2022. Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) recently described the production of green hydrogen at sea as a “real future topic with high innovation potential”. It could make important contributions to the decarbonization of German industry.

So far, electrolysis for hydrogen generation has only been running on land. According to the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation in the Coastal Sea and the EEZ, a good year ago offshore wind farms with 1501 Turbines and 7.4 GW of installed power on the grid. It is currently around 7.8 GW. Other parks are approved. The EEZ is the sea area seaward of the territorial sea (12 – nautical mile zone) up to a maximum of the 200 – nautical mile limit .

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