Germany Ports Awaiting Offshore Wind Boom
As Germany prepares for a major expansion of offshore wind to replace nuclear power, companies like French giant Areva and US-based General Electric (GE) have flocked to the German coastlines.
With wind parks planned for both the North Sea and Baltic Sea, the buildup can be felt in the country’s seaports and hinterlands. Germany Trade & Invest will have wind industry experts at this year’s EWEA Offshore in Amsterdam on November 30 to share new business opportunities in Germany’s offshore wind industry.
Germany’s key seaports are transforming thanks to multi-million dollar investments geared toward the offshore industry. With two of Europe’s top four busiest ports located in Germany, companies have access to a well developed infrastructure. Areva has just opened a full-load test bench in Bremerhaven to check its new 5-MW wind turbines manufactured nearby. Other ports are bustling as well: BARD manages its projects from Emden and Cuxhaven and Niedersachsen is investing in its infrastructure. Ports in Schleswig-Holstein have already developed a logistics concept for offshore wind. And Rostock and Wismar in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern can serve both Baltic Sea and North Sea projects through the Kiel Canal. Further inland, established onshore players are also gearing up for the offshore boom.
“Although there are still a number of unanswered questions, the expansion of offshore wind in Germany is an incredible opportunity for foreign companies. Support for renewable energy in Germany is unwavering, meaning that investors benefit from a secure business environment,” said Anne Bräutigam, wind industry expert at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin.
Germany has increased its infrastructure budget by EUR 1 billion to EUR 11 billion for 2012, partially in anticipation of the rapid expansion of offshore wind. A fifth lock between the North and Baltic Seas is planned for next year.
Germany Trade & Invest will be presenting opportunities in offshore wind at this year’s conference along with several partners, including the economic development agencies of seven federal states: Baden-Wurttemberg, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Niedersachsen and Schleswig-Holstein.
Offshore WIND staff, November 29, 2011; Image: gtai