Pre-election FIT debates stall German offshore investment

GERMANY: Increasing uncertainty over future feed-in tariff (FIT) rates in Germany is delaying investment decisions on future rounds of the country's offshore wind programme.

As reported last month, Germany's wind sector is facing a turbulent 2013, not least because of the federal elections due to take place in September.

Proposals by federal environment minister Peter Altmaier to introduce retroactive cuts to the FIT for operating projects have been rejected by chancellor Angela Merkel, but talks continue about reducing the FIT for future projects.

Wind industry officials have accused the German government of playing politics with wind before the elections and warned that it may harm future investment, especially offshore.

"Offshore wind will continue in Germany in 2013 and 2014 due to past decisions, but the next wave of development is missing," said Repower chief executive Andreas Nauen.

"Customers are not able to make investment decisions."

Thorsten Herdan, vice president of the offshore wind foundation, Stiftung Offshore, added: "We are not against politics, but the short-term measures being discussed that would introduce a 'brake on electricity prices' are fatal for Germany."

For more on this story, go to Windpower Offshore.