Market Status: Germany - Promising pipeline in North Sea and Baltic

GERMANY: Offshore wind development is starting to gather momentum in Germany, with 20MW of capacity - in the shape of the first four 5MW turbines of the 80-turbine Bard 1 project in the North Sea - going online in December 2010. This brings the country's total offshore wind capacity to 92MW.

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Another 21 Siemens turbines at EnBW Erneuerbare Energien's 48.3MW Baltic 1 offshore station were also ready to commission, but grid connection was still not complete by February 2011, according to Wolfgang Brauer, the company's head of business development.

The Baltic 1 project should now go live before mid-2011. At least half of the 400MW Bard project should also be completed this year. Around 230MW of offshore capacity is therefore due to start delivering electricity in 2011, taking Germany's total to around 320MW.

It is not yet certain when project company Wetfeet will commission its first turbines at the Global Tech 1 project, planned to have an eventual capacity of 400MW. Eighty Areva 5MW turbines will be supplied for the project in 2011-12 under a binding memorandum of understanding announced in March 2009.

Meanwhile, preparatory work on Germany's substantial pipeline of offshore wind projects continues. Among the most advanced is Trianel's North Sea Borkum West II project phase 1. Work on the tripod foundations for the first 20 Areva 5MW turbines will begin in the summer. The 200MW fleet should be fully commissioned in the winter of 2012-13.

With financing still a major hurdle, the German government announced in October that a special EUR5 billion credit line, administrated by state development bank KfW, will be launched this year to help finance the first ten German offshore wind farms.

Twenty-six projects in the exclusive economic zones of the North and Baltic Seas are permitted, with decisions on up to five more due this year, according to permitting authority Bundesamt fur Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie. Four near-shore projects with 72 turbines have been permitted by the relevant states.

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