2.1GW predicted in German Baltic Sea by 2023

Five offshore projects could be built in next five years

Five offshore wind farms could be built in the German Baltic Sea within the next five years and by 2023 offshore capacity should amount to at least 2.1GW, according to the Baltic Offshore Forum.

Factors encouraging offshore wind development within the German Baltic include reduced charges introduced by the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for securing consent permits within its 12-nautical mile zone, notes the forum in a newly-published position paper.

In addition, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state government intends to examine whether further areas within the zone can be identified for offshore wind development.

There is sufficient feed-in potential at Bentwisch, Lüdershagen and Lubmin to connect up at least 5GW of Baltic Sea offshore capacity, with all of this possible using AC technology, which transmission system operator (TSO) 50Hertz has chosen to employ, rather than DC technology.

The forum also stresses the merits of the planned "Kriegers Flak combined grid" solution to the future development of offshore wind in the Baltic. This is due to act as a cable connection between Germany and Scandinavia via two offshore wind farms (one in Danish waters and one in German) planned for the Kriegers Flak area.

Contrary to earlier assumptions, the offshore wind potential of the Baltic Sea is not significantly less than the North Sea, emphasises the forum.

Less positively, last week’s passage of a much-needed, new German federal law governing offshore grid liability could cause delays in ordering and implementing new marine cables to shore, warns the forum.

The forum is a sub-group of the Wind Energy Network, an association promoting wind energy in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the region around the Baltic Sea port of Rostock.