New Energy Parks

Winds Pick Up in Offshore Sector

windpark paul langrock
And still more windpipes are on the way.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germany’s offshore wind-energy sector offers plenty of opportunities but not without their risks.

  • Facts


    • For Siemens, the cost of building the “Bard I” wind park doubled from €1.5 billion to €3 billion.
    • Germany is expected to triple capacity of sea-based wind parks by the end of the year, from one to more than three gigawatts.
    • Last year, Germany’s offshore wind-energy sector generated revenues of €1.9 billion and employed nearly 19,000 people.
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For equipment suppliers, Germany’s foray into offshore wind-energy has at times been more fiasco than guaranteed success.

Siemens is a case in point. The Munich-based industrial group has underestimated the difficulties of connecting sea-based wind parks to the main power grid — and paid dearly for its mistakes.

It has seen the cost of building the “Bard I” wind park, for instance, balloon from €1.5 ($1.7 billion) to €3 billion. And delays in connecting the “Riffgat” wind park off the coast of the North Sea island of Borkum to the grid have resulted in additional maintenance costs.

But now the wind turbines are turning, generating not only electricity but also jobs. And politicians in the coastal region couldn’t be happier.

“The offshore branch is a motor for job creation in the north,” said Social Democrat Olaf Nies, the economics minister in the state of Lower Saxony.

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