[Image: Insung Yoon/Unsplash]
Research from the Fraunhofer IWES research institute has found that up to 82GW of offshore wind could be realised in the German North and Baltic Seas.
This is significantly more than the 70GW of offshore wind energy planned by the German federal government by 2045.
The new study has calculated in various scenarios, concluding that the offshore wind power potential can be increased by using additional areas, for example, with new offshore wind power technologies.
These could be deployed in such a way that other users and important concerns such as nature conservation are not adversely affected.
The scientific study, jointly commissioned by the Federal Association of Wind Farm Operators Offshore (BWO) and the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW), has modeled future offshore wind energy potential in the Exclusive Economic Zone (AWZ) of the Federal Republic of Germany using three area settings.
BWO managing director Stefan Thimm said: "Of course, when designating new areas, you have to proceed with a sense of proportion.
"We were particularly pleased to see that all users of the North and Baltic Seas recognize the importance of offshore wind energy and have signaled their willingness to compromise with regard to the shared use of areas.
"Our goal is a situation in which no type of use emerges as a loser."
Fraunhofer IWES found that with a dense planning of the wind farm areas of sometimes more than 10MW per square kilometre (MW/km²) corrected power density, the full load hours also fall on average well below the yields in wind farm clusters that are already fully developed today.
The use of larger and higher offshore wind turbines will have a positive effect on the yields and efficiencies of the wind farm areas in the future.
The latter applies both to new areas and to areas already used for offshore wind energy generation, it said.
Overall, several co-use scenarios that exceed the federal government's expansion plans of 70GW were examined.
With a total potential of 81.6GW of installed capacity, yields of up to 292.1TWh can be achieved with around 3.580 full-load hours of the wind farms in the German EEZ, according to the results of the investigations.