Germany enters offshore wind age as Baltic 1 comes online

Germany accelerates towards its offshore wind future today when utility EnBW begins production at its 48.3MW Baltic 1 project.

The utility used the symbolism of the country’s first Baltic offshore wind farm beginning operations to call for greater incentives for future developments.

“We should discuss whether the planned level of the renewable energy tariffs is sufficient,” Hans-Peter Villis, EnBW’s chief executive was quoted by Reuters telling guests including chancellor Angela Merkel in the northern German town of Zingst.

“I hope the aid system and its schedule for offshore wind parks is adjusted as part of the new version of the renewable energy law so that offshore wind remains financeable.”

The 21-turbine Baltic 1 farm, 16km from the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern coastline in the Baltic Sea, can provide power for up to 50,000 homes, says EnBW . It uses 2.3MW turbines from Siemens.

Lessons learned during the three-year project will be applied to EnBW’s 80-turbine Baltic 2 project, which is scheduled to enter its construction phase next year, adds Villis.

Offshore wind is emerging as the cornerstone of Germany’s move towards a clean-energy economy as the country faces up to a faster than expected move away from nuclear power following the Fukushima crisis in Japan.

The industry is calling for increased support for offshore generation as part of plans to accelerate the shift.

EnBW itself recently said it will double its renewable generation capacity to about 6GW by the end of the decade as part of the country’s clean-energy revolution.