Germany’s cabinet on Wednesday adopted a plan to speed along the construction of offshore wind parks in the North Sea, paving the way for a targeted 25,000 megawatts of capacity to come on line by 2030.
Germany, one of the leading onshore wind power nations, aims to move turbines out to sea in order to help them meet national climate protection targets which in a first step envisage renewable energies contributing 30 percent of all power by 2020.
Wind supplies six percent of German power and this is meant to double to 12 percent under the 2020 scenario.
Wednesday’s plan involves creating zones suited to the construction of wind parks in coordination with the interests of environmental protection and the shipping industry.
Transport minister Wolfgang Tiefensee said that 12,000 MW of offshore wind power could be obtained by 2020. Another plan to create wind park zones in the Baltic Sea was due to be approved in the autumn, he said. Tiefensee said that offshore wind technologies could provide 30,000 jobs.
Power consumers under subsidizing laws for renewable power must pay above-market rates for wind power fed into the transmission grid.
Environmental organization NABU in a statement welcomed the decision as some 21 approved offshore projects are in the pipeline off the German coasts.
“This initiative comes at the right time as the big energy utilities prefer to bank on a lengthening of old nuclear plants rather than building new wind parks in the sea,” NABU said.
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