The German government plans to increase the share of its energy produced from renewable sources from the current level of 20 percent to 35 percent by 2020. A large portion of this increase will be delivered by offshore wind farms.
However there is a problem.
E.on, the German energy giant warned that progress to install power lines connecting offshore wind farms to the mainland power grid is far too slow and will result in delaying the countries green energy ambitions. E.on has been waiting 15 months for power lines to be constructed that will connect its Amrumbank offshore wind farm to the grid, and has threatened the cessation of two more large wind projects until the appropriate infrastructure is in place.
Mike Winkel, head of the company’s Climate and Renewables division, told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper that, “the situation is disastrous … the grid operators aren’t keeping up … they overestimated themselves and underestimated the problems … they don’t have sufficient financial incentives … authorities are causing major confusion over who is responsible for what, and they’re not coordinating among each other.” He is suggests that if the construction of power lines is not sped up, then other power companies as well as E.on will stop investing in offshore wind farms.
This could prove devastating to the future energy security and also economic stability of Germany.
Winkel admits that he is “pessimistic for the time after 2015 if nothing changes. No one will go on investing if the grid link is as uncertain as it is now, neither E.on nor others.” This will severly affect the, already dubious, government intentions to have 10,000 wind turbines providing 25 gigawatts of power by 2030. At the moment they can only claim 27 turbines producing 135 megawatts.