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German offshore wind between vision and reality – how to successfully implement 70GW Hamburg Offshore Wind conference, HOW 2024

German offshore wind between vision and reality –  how to successfully implement 70GW
EEHH GmbH/Daniel Reinhardt

At the Hamburg Offshore Wind conference 2024 (HOW 2024), 120 industry experts held intensive discussions about the planned rapid acceleration of the expansion of offshore wind energy in Germany. HOW 2024 was jointly organised by the industry network for future energies (Renewable Energy Hamburg) and the international consultancy and certification company, DNV, based in Norway.

Participants held particularly in-depth discussions on how offshore wind areas should be put out to tender in future and what consequences this could have for energy trading and the energy market. Competition as a result of unlimited bids that promise significant state revenues? Or better qualitative criteria that encourage developers to come up with innovative ideas and enable suppliers to achieve more sustainable growth?

A further focus of the conference is a topic that motivates many offshore wind stakeholders: how can production capacity for offshore wind energy in Germany and the EU be tripled, so that the legally specified expansion targets for offshore wind energy can actually be achieved? And how can we simultaneously ensure that local added value and jobs are created?

The conference began with two keynote speeches on the important future role of offshore wind energy in the necessary decarbonisation of industry. The first of these was delivered by Dr Uwe Braun, CEO of ArcelorMittal. Firstly, he explained how green steel can be made available for offshore wind farms. And secondly, he highlighted why green electricity from offshore wind farms can play an important role in steel production. The second keynote speech by Dr Christoph von dem Bussche, Managing Director of the gas transport pipeline network operator, Gascade, and Head of AquaVentus Förderverein, explained how green hydrogen will be produced at sea in future using electricity from offshore wind farms and will arrive onshore directly via a pipeline in order to supply German industrial customers with carbon-neutral fuel via the future hydrogen core network.

On the first panel, participants discussed how the areas for offshore wind farms in Germany will be put out to tender in future. Jan Rispens, Managing Director of the organiser, EEHH, says: “In 2023, one such tender generated significant revenues of around EUR 13 billion in Germany, which will benefit the state. This has raised concerns in parts of the offshore sector, as well as among electricity customers in the industry, that this could potentially lead to a substantial increase in industrial electricity prices in the long term. Other EU countries are taking a different approach. The EU Commission has also proposed using different award criteria or tendering methods for this. We are expecting a fascinating discussion on a complex issue. The German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation (Stiftung Offshore Windenergie) had criticised the 2023 tenders, together with other associations, including EEHH e.V.” The debate was attended by Ina Kamps, BP; Antoine Becker, TotalEnergies; Holger Matthiesen, Luxcara; Till Schwarzlose, RWE, and Michael Prutsch, Orsted.

The second panel discussion hotly debated the issue of how production capacities for offshore wind energy plants and components, as well as the logistics infrastructure, can be expanded more rapidly. Peter Frohböse, Segment Lead Offshore Wind at the organiser, DNV, says: “Between 2010 and now, we’ve installed almost 9 gigawatts of capacity in Germany, in the North and Baltic Seas and connected this to the power grid. The German government’s new targets are to create an additional 21 gigawatts of capacity by 2030 in order to achieve the overall target of 30 gigawatts. This represents a threefold increase of the supply chain in just six years. This can only be achieved by means of European cooperation, with a major joint effort by the offshore sector, ports and politicians. But many German ports and medium-sized suppliers are currently still experiencing considerable challenges with the rapid implementation and funding of their investment projects.”

This debate was attended by: Karina Würtz, The German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation; Dr Dennis Rendschmidt, VDMA Power Systems; Martin Gerhard, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and Albert Winnemüller, Vestas A/S. Martin Schulz, BUSS Group, represented medium-sized port logistics operators. Dr Nico Nolte, Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographe (BSH), provided a preview of the plans for the period after 2030. He explained the approaches that will apply to planning and approval processes for extremely remote offshore wind farms in future.

About DNV:

DNV operates as an independent company (Norwegian foundation) for assurance and risk management in over 100 countries. Based on its extensive experience and expertise, DNV aims to promote security and sustainable performance. From assessing a new ship design, optimising the performance of a wind farm, analysing sensor data from a gas pipeline or certifying the supply chain of a food company, DNV helps customers and partners make the right decisions with confidence.

Driven by its purpose to safeguard life, property and the environment, DNV empowers its customers to face the challenges and global transformations of our times. DNV regards itself as a trusted voice for many of the world’s most successful and future-oriented organisations.

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DNV’s principal involvement in the energy industry is the consistent publication of Technical standards and guidelines. DNV also primarily attracts attention by means of joint industry projects in which many market stakeholders pursue a common project.

About Astrid Dose

Profilbild zu: Astrid Dose

Talking, writing, organising – and having lots of fun! This is what my days at the EEHH Cluster look like. I’ve been responsible for public relations and marketing for the Hamburg industry network since 2011. I studied History and English and have a soft spot for technical issues.