Coalition draft agreement raises wind allocation

GERMANY: An extra 4GW of onshore wind capacity, and an unspecified amount of additional offshore installations, will be built in Germany over 2019-20.

Germany's new coalition government looks set to raise wind power capacity
Germany's new coalition government looks set to raise wind power capacity

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Details of the plan are not specified in the long-awaited draft coalition document, negotiated between the conservative CDU and CSU parties and the social democrat SPD party, and released on 7 February.

But time is short if the new wind capacity is to be selected by auction. Wind’s current allocation is for 2.8GW a year from 2017-19, and 2.9GW from 2020.

To help clear the north-south transmission bottleneck in central Germany, a minimum share of wind and other renewables capacity put up for auction will be allocated to southern Germany.

Onshore wind projects will have to permitted to participate in auctions. But nature protection and local residents' concerns are to be given more weight when seeking a balance of interests with onshore wind developments.

For the offshore wind sector, the draft document merely proposes a new national offshore wind test field, to contribute to research into offshore's potential for the  "Energiewende". Adding substantial new capacity to that already planned for 2019 and 2020 looks hardly feasible due to the considerable upfront planning and logistics required.

SPD party members have yet to vote on the draft document before the coalition government is finalised. A date for the vote should be announced shortly. The new coalition talks followed a previous failed attempt by CDU/CSU to build a coalition with the neo-liberal FDP and Green parties, after federal elections in September 2017.

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