Germany's far-shore offshore wind developments are being consigned to the back of the queue. Projects likely to be affected include Hochtief's six planned North Sea wind farms, four of which were acquired in March 2012 from Enova.
The first draft of Germany's Offshore Network Development Plan 2013 (O-NEP 2013), published recently, outlines five criteria that will be used by regulators to decide the order of offshore wind grid connections. The first is "distance from the coast".
In the same vein, three priority area for offshore wind development in the German North Sea have been named in the offshore transmission network plan, which prepared the ground for O-NEP 2013. They are: Nördliche Borkum, Südlich Amrumbank and Östlich Austerngrund. These areas stretch to a maximum 120km from the coast.
This does not mean that permits for wind projects in the other areas cannot be lodged and the projects developed, "but this evaluation means such projects lying far outside the priority areas would not be prioritised in their further development," states the offshore transmission network plan.