Renewable Energy Hamburg has engaged in several activities, projects and collaborations within the context of international renewable energy markets. By partnering with the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg for delegation visits and market explorations abroad, organising high-level workshops on international topics, hosting foreign delegations in Hamburg or participating in EU-projects, Renewable Energy Hamburg has enhanced its international profile.
Recently, there was a clear focus on Japan in the Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster’s international activities. Japan, and more specifically the Japanese prefecture of Fukushima, has a unique symbolic character for the development of renewable energies. It was the three-fold disaster involving the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in Fukushima that changed German energy policy forever, bringing about a rapid nuclear phase-out in Germany.
The events of March 2011 have left their mark in Japan in particular. Although Japan has not yet completely turned its back on nuclear energy, the development and promotion of a variety of renewable energy sources and energy storage technologies is being actively pursued. Particularly in the case of hydrogen, Japan has a pioneering role worldwide.
Ambitious renewable energy plans of Fukushima
Now the Fukushima Prefecture is focusing on becoming self-supplying with renewable energy. Therefore they are developing onshore and offshore projects as well as solar parks. At the same time, Fukushima is playing a crucial role in the Japanese strategy to develop a hydrogen economy: to use hydrogen produced with renewable energy, and to use this hydrogen in fuel-cell based cars and vehicles as well as for industrial usage. The Renewable Energy Hamburg cluster is supporting the exchange of information and cooperation in the field of wind power and hydrogen between companies from the Fukushima Prefecture and companies based in the Hamburg Metropolitan region.
Cooperation with Fukushima Prefecture
Official cooperation between the Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster and Energy Agency Fukushima has existed since 2018. In October 2019, the Governor of Fukushima Prefecture, Masao Uchibori, and the First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Dr Peter Tschentscher, officially extended the cooperation to the prefectural and federal level when signing an agreement at Hamburg City Hall.
Milestones in the Japan-related activities of Renewable Energy Hamburg:
Renewable energy amongst our northern neighbours
For the Danish, the energy transition is a love affair. In order to become climate-neutral, our northern neighbours are pursuing some extremely ambitious goals. Even now, 50 per cent of their energy supply is sourced from wind and sun (2019 figures). By 2030, the Danish government aims to force CO2 emissions down to 70 per cent below their 1990 values. By 2050, they want to achieve climate neutrality. Key Danish renewable energy enterprises are playing their part to implement this, such as the transmission grid operator Energienet, the energy supplier and project developer Orsted, and the wind turbine manufacturer Vestas.
In 2019, the proportion of wind power in Danish electricity consumption was 47%, and 29% of this was made up of onshore wind. Residents can hold up to 20% of shares in each onshore wind park. However, wind energy installations on land have been stagnating for years. There’s also a new trend in Denmark: ‘PPAs’, long-term electricity supplier contracts. In 2020, for example, the Essen-based energy corporation RWE concluded a PPA with a Danish partner. The contract concerns around 3 billion kWh of power from onshore wind and solar sources.
The proportion of offshore wind energy in Danish energy consumption rose from 14% to 18% in 2019. Denmark is currently planning a huge offshore wind island with a capacity of up to ten gigawatts, which is intended to supply ten million European households with electricity. The island, which is predominantly privately financed, is planned to come on stream in 2030. The energy will reach the mainland via an undersea cable. Surplus wind energy will be saved in the form of green hydrogen.
While Denmark has achieved worldwide renown as a wind power pioneer, what is less widely known is that our northern neighbours are right out in front in the field of the heating transition as well. Around 65% of their heating provision is based on renewable energy. The key elements here are combined heat and power and district heating systems. At present, 1,000 decentralised CHP plants, fuelled by waste, biogas, biomass and natural gas, have an available capacity of 2.5 gigawatts. The Danes also use the sun for heat generation, in the form of solar-powered district heating supply systems.
In Denmark, too, cluster organisations are working to successfully implement the energy transition – above all the Clean Cluster, which includes 170 companies. The EEHH cluster has been developing very close contacts with the Clean Cluster since as far back as 2011, and is for example collaborating on the Interreg Europe ‘Northern Connections’ project.
The offshore industry
Construction of the Fryslân offshore wind farm, which will have a total capacity of 383 MW, began in September 2020 in the IJsselmeer. The Zuiderzeewind consortium’s project is scheduled to start operations in the summer of 2021. In addition, the Danish energy company Ørsted is currently building its first Dutch offshore wind energy project, the Borssele 1&2 offshore wind farm in the North Sea. According to the 2019 Global Offshore Wind Report, the construction of the Borselle 1–4 offshore wind farms is expected to make the Netherlands the third-largest offshore wind power nation in Europe.
Together with the Dutch natural gas network operator Gasunie and the port of Groningen Seaports, Shell Nederland is planning the NortH2 project in the Dutch province of Groningen. A mega wind farm with a capacity of 3 to 4 GW by 2030 is expected to provide the electricity necessary for electrolysis. The wind farm’s output is anticipated to increase gradually to around 10 GW by 2040. The consortium aims to use the offshore electricity generated to produce around 800,000 t of hydrogen per year by 2040.
MoU between Groningen and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
The Dutch New Energy Coalition foundation in Groningen and the EEHH Cluster Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2019 for mutual support in offshore wind and hydrogen. In addition to mutual membership, the agenda also includes reciprocal delegation visits, events such as trade fairs and conferences, research collaborations and the exchange of experience.
French Energy and Climate Act
Under the 2015 Paris climate agreement, France and Germany aim to decarbonise the economy by 2050. More than 100,000 new jobs are to be created by 2020 – 75,000 in the field of energy-conserving renovation and 30,000 in the renewable energy sector – and as many as 200,000 new jobs by 2030. The percentage of renewable energy in final energy consumption is expected to increase to 23% by 2020 and 32% by 2030.
Offshore projects planned off the west coast of France
The Energy and Climate Act, which entered into force in November 2019, provides for “the promotion of electricity generation from wind turbines at sea”. The annual volume of tenders for offshore wind energy is set to increase to 1 GW by 2024. According to the “Programmation pluriannuelle de l’énergie” (Multiannual Energy Programme), there will be another offshore tender for a wind farm in the eastern English Channel/North Sea region with a capacity of around 1,000 MW in 2020.
The offshore sites planned by the French Government off the north-west coast of France will be located in Courseulles-sur-Mer, Fécamp, Saint-Nazaire, Saint-Brieuc, Île d'Yeu/Noirmoutier and Dieppe/Le Tréport. All the projects were accepted as part of the first two offshore tenders in France in 2011 and 2013. The expected output of the wind farms is 450 to 498 megawatts (MW), yielding a total output of 3,000 MW. The offshore project in Saint-Nazaire is entering the implementation stage after several years of preparation. The plan is to increase offshore wind capacity to 2.2 GW. The European wind association WindEurope even expects an offshore potential of 11 GW for France by 2030.
The French government has cleared the way for solar power with attractive feed-in tariffs from photovoltaic systems linked to the grid and the multi-billion euro “Grenelle de l’environnement” environmental programme. In France, the feed-in tariff does not depend on the installation’s size, but on its location and integration with the building. The Environmental Act aims to achieve a solar energy volume of 1,100 MW by 2012, increasing to 5,400 MW by 2020.
French renewable heat market
47% of the energy consumed in France in 2017 was consumed in the form of heat. The percentage of renewable energy in the heat market has increased. It now represents more than a third of primary heat consumption. In 2018, there were more than 761 heating networks in France. However, only 5% of the French population uses these heating networks. Moreover, France’s heating network market is quite concentrated and mainly served by a few public stakeholders, such as municipalities.