The German government presented its new ports strategy on 20 March. The strategy contains a collection of measures, but no plans for financing. Therefore, the onshore and offshore wind energy associations, the OFFSHORE-WINDENERGIE foundation and the Hamburg Renewable Energy Cluster are appealing to the government to take the needs of the energy transition into account in the port strategy:

The strategy presented today to strengthen the competitiveness of Germany as a port location contains many important and targeted measures, including accelerated and simplified land provision and approval procedures as well as initiatives to attract and train skilled workers.

Nevertheless, it must be emphasised that the German government is not fulfilling its responsibility with regard to its most important goal of making ports sustainable hubs of the energy transition. The energy transition has been politically decided by the federal government and represents a national task that threatens to be significantly slowed down without the expansion of the necessary port capacities.

“A ports strategy without a budget for implementation is a major disappointment. We need an immediate port expansion plan, otherwise the expansion of wind energy at sea will come to a standstill. The federal government should finance a large part of the port expansion, it has ordered it. As things stand today, the federal government is absorbing the revenue from the wind energy at sea tenders, but is only paying small sums for the national task of expanding ports via the port load equalisation scheme. Aligning the capacities of seaports with the goals of the energy transition is a great opportunity. This is shown by the examples of Esbjerg and Eemshaven,” says BWO Managing Director Stefan Thimm.

“In Germany, however, offshore wind energy companies are at risk because they cannot build their wind farms in the sea as planned without suitable ports. As an industry, we therefore continue to propose that part of the revenue from offshore wind energy auctions be used for this purpose,” adds Thimm.

In the coalition agreement, the federal government has committed to the federal and state governments sharing responsibility for the necessary port infrastructure. The port location of Cuxhaven is of particular importance in this context in the short term. Around 80 per cent of all rotor blades installed in Germany land in Cuxhaven, both for onshore and offshore turbines. We have already pointed out several times that capacities in Cuxhaven are already becoming scarce. Cuxhaven is the only one of the German deep-sea ports to already have a planning approval for the expansion of its areas; it is therefore the only place where the urgently needed capacities can be expanded quickly. Nevertheless, the financing of the project has still not been finalised because the federal government is not facing up to its responsibilities here.

The federal government has to take greater account of the needs of the energy transition. It must now quickly create a coherent and stable financing basis for the port strategy that sustainably underpins the goals it has set itself in the coalition agreement,” commented the associations Bundesverband WindEnergie (BWE), Bundesverband Windenergie Offshore (BWO), WAB and Wind Energy Network (WEN), the non-profit OFFSHORE-WINDENERGIE foundation and the Hamburg Renewable Energy Cluster.

Source: Bundesverband Windenergie Offshore e.V