A Russian ship wanted to spy on Dutch wind farms: What is the security situation at German offshore wind farms and what protective measures must be taken now to protect critical infrastructure from Russian espionage and sabotage?

BWO Managing Director Stephen Thimm comments: “Offshore wind energy is part of the critical infrastructure of the Federal Republic of Germany and due to its function as an energy producer in the overriding interest of public safety. The federal government has set the goal of expanding offshore wind energy to 70 GW by 2045. This objective should, among other things, enable the supply independence from Russian raw material supplies. This feature undoubtedly makes offshore wind farms a prime target for Russian espionage and sabotage operations.”

Reports of various sightings of supposedly Russian submarines in foreign waters, the attack on the Nord Stream pipelines in September last year and yesterday’s attempt to spy on wind farms in the Netherlands give cause for concern. “Indications of the Russian Federation planning and carrying out acts of espionage and sabotage are growing.” Thimm.

In the opinion of the BWO, this creates a special protection order for all those involved. The operating companies fulfill this through various technical and organizational measures. However, satisfactory protection against espionage and sabotage cannot be provided solely by the operators. According to the Basic Law (Art. 89, Para. 2, Sentence 2, GG), the state is primarily responsible for this.

Stephen Thimm: “We see an urgent and urgent need for action to protect German offshore wind farms from acts of espionage and sabotage. The federal government must now take measures to effectively protect the offshore energy infrastructure from espionage and sabotage actions by the Russian Federation or other actors.”


A Russian ship has reportedly tried to scout Dutch wind farms in the North Sea. According to information from the Dutch military intelligence service, attempts by Russian actors to understand and disrupt the organization of the Dutch energy supply in the North Sea have been noticed in recent months. However, the attempt was unsuccessful. The ship entered Dutch territorial waters and was escorted out again by the Dutch Coast Guard and Navy. Russia is secretly mapping infrastructure and undertaking activities that indicate preparations for disruption and sabotage.

Source: Federal Association of Wind Farm Operators Offshore eV