Bloomberg News

Germany Seeks Faster Offshore Wind Grid Connection, Roesler Says

January 16, 2012

Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The German government wants to connect offshore wind farms to the power grid faster after utilities including RWE AG complained that the process was taking too long.

Germany’s environment and economy ministries helped set up a group that will also include regulators and industry officials to discuss issues delaying offshore wind expansion and solve them, Economy Minister Philip Roesler said today.

“We need offshore wind energy if we want to successfully transform the German energy mix and for that, we need to connect large offshore wind farms as quickly as possible,” Roesler said in Berlin after meeting energy representatives.

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, plans to install 10,000 megawatts of sea-based wind turbines this decade as it raises the share of renewables in its energy mix. That will help make up for the loss of nuclear energy as the country shuts down reactors following last year’s Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Grid operator TenneT TSO GmbH told RWE AG, Germany’s second-largest utility, that hooking the utility’s 1 billion- euro ($1.3 billion) Nordsee Ost wind farm to the grid will take at least 12 months longer than expected. RWE wants to be reimbursed for losses linked to the delays, which it blamed mainly on the supply of power cables and transformer stations.

The working group will discuss regulation and liability issues and try to find first solutions within a few months, Roesler said.

--Editor: Randall Hackley

To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at snicola2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net


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