German wind energy agency backs offshore

Think tank sparks debate on cost-efficient renewables

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Offshore wind needs to play a big role in Germany's transition towards renewable energy (Energiewende) given the significant economic benefits it brings, wind energy agency WAB has said.

The agency was commenting on a study on the cost-effective expansion of renewable energy released on Tuesday by Agora-Energiewende, an organisation set up by the Mercator Foundation and the European Climate Foundation to advise on Germany's switch to renewables.

The study supports slower offshore wind expansion "to allow technology and industry developments to continue but at the same time reduce costs", according to Agora-Energiewende’s director Rainer Baake.

Offshore wind in Germany is already growing more slowly than assumed in the study’s baseline scenario of 10GW by 2020, said WAB’s managing director Ronny Meyer. The sector anticipates 6-7GW of installed capacity by the same date.

The study focuses on costs and ignores the positive macro-economic effects of offshore wind expansion, including the creation of more than 10,000 professional jobs in the sector, says Meyer.

"The Energiewende should be seen as a complex all-encompassing project. With high full-load hours and base-load characteristics, offshore wind energy is one of the fundamental pillars of the energy transition," he adds.

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