There are significant obstacles to large-scale wind power plans in the Baltic Sea.

DAccording to the transmission network operator 50Hertz, the expansion goals for wind power in the Baltic Sea pose significant challenges for the industry. For the German Baltic Sea alone, an increase in connected capacity of up to five gigawatts is planned for the next ten years, said Volker Gustedt, spokesperson for 50Hertz, to the German Press Agency. This would be more than three times the current capacity.

„Ich kann das nicht umformulieren.“

He referred to the ongoing discussion about the Rostock shipyard between the state government of Schwerin and the Federal Ministry of Defense. While Schwerin would like to see converter platforms built on vacant areas there, there are security concerns from Berlin due to the nearby naval arsenal. Currently, such platforms only come from Southern Europe or Asia, Gustedt said. It is more advantageous in terms of logistics and cost to build them nearby.

Konkurrenz mit der Schifffahrt in der Ostsee

In der Nordsee gehe es noch um deutlich höhere Ausbauziele als in der Ostsee, wo sein Unternehmen für die Netzanbindung zuständig ist. So planten die Nordsee-Anrainer bis 2030 mehr als 120 Gigawatt Leistung und die Ostsee-Anrainer mehr als 20 Gigawatt.

The German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Baltic Sea is significantly smaller compared to the North Sea. Additionally, there is more competition in the Baltic Sea, such as shipping, fishing, and the military. Gustedt also mentioned that the varying seabed can be challenging, with some areas being muddy while others are rocky.

However, the Baltic Sea also offers advantages: due to the shorter distances, one can quickly reach the platform by speedboat, for example for maintenance. In the North Sea, on the other hand, a helicopter is needed. In addition, the weather in the North Sea can be even more unpleasant. According to the Offshore Wind Energy Foundation, currently 1.3 gigawatts of power are installed in the German Baltic Sea (7.1 gigawatts in the North Sea). Therefore, five wind parks fully or partially contribute to the power generation.

Since the beginning of the year, the wind farm Arcadis Ost 1, owned by the Belgian energy company Parkwinds, has been supplying electricity off the coast of Rügen. The 257-megawatt wind farm is expected to be fully operational later this year. In the following year, Iberdrola Deutschland’s wind farm Baltic Eagle, with a capacity of 476 megawatts, is also scheduled to start operating off the coast of Rügen.

Total Energies plant einen Park auf einer großen Fläche.

Ein weiterer großer Windpark mit einer Leistung von über 900 Megawatt ist laut Gustedt vor dem Darß geplant. Für eine andere Fläche nordöstlich von Rügen seien 300 Megawatt vorgesehen. Zudem habe sich kürzlich der Mineralölkonzern Total Energies für zwei Milliarden Euro die bislang größte Fläche in der deutschen Ostsee mit einer vorgesehenen Leistung von bis zu zwei Gigawatt gesichert.

50Hertz hat nicht nur die deutsche Ostsee im Blick. Neben einer deutsch-dänischen Kooperation zur Anbindung von Windparks vor Bornholm gebe es eine Absichtserklärung für die Anbindung eines Windparks vor Estland. Der Plan sei, dass möglicherweise sogar ein Großteil des Stroms über ein mehr als 700 Kilometer langes Seekabel nach Deutschland gebracht wird, weil Estland gar nicht so einen hohen Bedarf habe.

However, all the electricity also needs to be distributed. „On the land side, the infrastructure also needs to be expanded,“ Gustedt said. New substations are planned, for example, near Lubmin and towards Rostock.