Ten offshore grid connection systems with a joint capacity of 5,332 megawatts (MW) for offshore wind energy transmission have now been connected to the transmission system by transmission system operator TenneT. “As such, TenneT has now achieved more than 82% of the federal government’s expansion target of having 6,500 megawatts of offshore wind capacities by 2020,” said Lex Hartman, member of the TenneT management team. Two further grid connection systems will be completed by TenneT by the end of 2019, which will make available a transmission capacity of 7,132 megawatts within the North Sea. There are plans for four more connections by 2025, which will increase North Sea transmission capacity to over 10,000 MW.
Furthermore, the wind energy transferred from the North Sea by TenneT amounted to 15.97 terawatts (TWh)*) in 2017 – a new record. This would be enough, for example, to cover the annual consumption of Deutsche Bahn (approx. 10 TWh) more than one and a half times. The 2017 result exceeds the previous year (10.83 TWh) by 47% and more than double compared to 2015 (7.36 TWh). Measured against the total wind output of Germany (100.67 TWh / offshore plus onshore), the North Sea wind contribution in 2017 achieved a healthy 15.9%.
“The positive trend from the first half of the year has been confirmed and the strong growth in North Sea wind output shows that offshore wind energy has become a key energy source with reliability also increasing”, said Hartman.
Within the first half of 2017, the wind energy transferred onshore from the North Sea by TenneT totalled 7.77 TWh*), which increased yet further in the second half of the year to 8.2 TWh*). For comparison: In the first half of 2016, the result was 5.18 TWh, and 5.65 TWh in the second half of the year. Looking at the half-year results for 2016 and 2017, it can be seen that the first and second six-month periods of each year are well balanced. This underlines the continuity of wind energy production in the North Sea across the entire year, with only minor downward fluctuations in the summer months.
The maximum infeed performance of offshore wind farms in the North Sea reached 4,350 megawatts on 22 October 2017. Capacity expansion for offshore wind farms in the North Sea attained 4,687 megawatts on the effective date of 31/12/2017. The wind energy turbines in the Baltic Sea (not within the TenneT grid area) generated 1.49 TWh*) in 2017, which means Germany’s total offshore yield totalled 17.46 TWh*). Once the 83.21 TWh*) of onshore-produced wind energy is added, this reaches a total of 100.67 TWh*).
*) Financially subsidised electricity in accordance with the German Renewable Energy Act, without other direct marketing; for 2017, as the provisional actual value. The volumes of energy produced onshore and in the Baltic Sea are incorporated as preliminary estimated values for the months of November and December 2017.