Germany needs offshore wind alongside onshore

Onshore potential does not rule out offshore, says environment chief

Offshore wind energy is "important and makes sense" in the wider context of Germany's renewable energy growth, the president of Germany's federal environment office, UBA, said today.

Presenting a new study for the UBA by the Fraunhofer-Institut for Windenergy and Energy Systems Technology (IWES), Jochen Flasbarth said that both onshore wind and solar photovoltaic should be part of the picture.

The study, titled Potential of wind energy on land, concluded that onshore wind could achieve a total capacity of 1,200GW, which is about 20 times as much as the 60GW by 2050 the UBA assumed would be necessary in a renewables mix to cover Germany's complete electricity generation with renewables.

However, Flasbarth stressed that even a huge onshore potential would not rule out offshore wind. "These results do not call into question offshore wind and its continuing support. By mid century - 2050 - we need to consider to what extent expansion of offshore wind should take place," he said.

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