Looking back on 2018: it has been a remarkable year for the development of wind energy. On the one hand, we have seen the decrease of cost of onshore and offshore which makes it even more competitive. Onshore wind tenders worldwide have seen extremely low cost levels in various countries. After the first zero bids for offshore wind in European tenders in 2017 we have seen a continuation of this development in 2018, especially in the Netherlands and in Germany. In the future electricity from wind farms might be sold directly on power markets, without any feed-in tariffs. On the other hand, the European wind market faces many challenges since this core market proves to be very volatile, especially the German one.
Still, in September we experienced an excellent Global Wind Summit in Hamburg combining the WindEnergy Hamburg trade exhibition and the WindEurope Annual Event. Even though the European wind market is volatile, the global development is robust and positive with new markets like Taiwan and the Middle East emerging quickly. A lot of visitors participated in our workshop on the Onshore Market in Argentina underlining the broader global perspective of the wind sector nowadays.
During the Global Wind Summit we, the Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster awarded the 7th German Renewables Award. The awards winners and their successful projects pointed out new trends in the renewable energy sector. Firstly: A much stronger sector coupling between the (power and) heat markets and industrial processes is gaining momentum. One example: the spectacular project of the copper producer Aurubis and the utility Enercity providing the newly built Hamburg HafenCity district with renewable heat using the waste of the industrial process. Secondly: The grid infrastructure is attracting innovation. The company AGS in cooperation with the utility Stadtwerke Stade improved underground cable laying.
Last not least: the brand-new award in the category journalism on renewable energy topics stresses the importance of a high-quality journalism making use of scientific facts.