Offshore wind turbines could soon provide more electricity for Germany — to the tune of 1,610 megawatts (MW). The country recently held an auction for companies that want to build offshore wind projects, ultimately granting six construction licenses. According to Reuters, the resulting wind energy parks will be able to produce as much power as a nuclear energy plant or two large gas- or coal-fired stations.
Germany’s Federal Network Agency, or Bundesnetzagentur, recently announced the results of the offshore wind energy auction. The average price of winning bids was $46.60 Euros per megawatt-hour, according to Renewables Now, and the winning companies include Baltic Eagle, Iberdrola, Ørsted, KNK Wind, and Innogy. Three projects will be located in the North Sea and three in the Baltic Sea. The winners have the option to construct the offshore wind plants between 2021 and 2025, with rights to onshore connections and 25 years of plant operation.
Wind energy appears to be soaring in Germany; according to the German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation, a recent study from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy found that 338,600 people were employed in the renewable energy field as of 2016 — a 10,000-employee increase compared to the year before. The wind industry was the driving force behind the rise in numbers; it employed nearly half of the 338,600 renewable energy workers, and 27,200 were employed in the offshore wind power sector.
The German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation also cited a Deutsche WindGuard analysis stating that, as of December 31, 2017, “1,169 wind turbines with an installed capacity of 5,387 MW were connected to the grid.” The foundation cited industry representatives as saying, “…offshore wind turbines make an increasing contribution to the security of Germany’s energy supply. They deliver clean power almost around the clock, every day of the year.”
Reuters said the next auction round will take place in 2021.