The transmission system operator TenneT transmitted around 21.13 terawatt hours (TWh) of wind energy from the German North Sea to land in 2022. In the Netherlands, 7.91 TWh were fed into the grid. In purely arithmetical terms, this means that the annual demand of around nine million households can be covered with green energy (at 3250 kWh annual consumption/household).

In Germany, the annual result in 2022 is four percent above the previous year’s value: in 2021, it was 20.3 TWh. Germany’s total onshore and offshore wind power generation reached 125.28 TWh in 2022 (previous year, 114.37 TWh). The share of North Sea electricity in 2022 was around 16.9 percent, just under one percentage point below the previous year (17.8 percent). 

The capacity of offshore wind farms in the Dutch North Sea was 3220 MW on the reporting date of 31.12.2022. In the Netherlands, the transmission capacity of TenneT’s offshore grid connections amounts to 3757 MW (previous year, 1503 MW). These transmitted 7.91 TWh in 2022 (previous year, 4.71 TWh).

The strong increase compared to the previous year is mainly due to the commissioning of TenneT’s offshore grid connection systems Hollands Kust (zuid) Alpha and Beta and corresponding additions to the offshore wind farms in 2022. The onshore wind energy capacity in the Netherlands was 7303 MW in 2022, generating 5.14 TWh of wind energy.

TenneT COO Tim Meyerjürgens said: “The North Sea has been reliably and stably supplying a large share of wind power in the Netherlands and Germany for years. It is, therefore, right and important to tap the potential of the North Sea as a wind power source for the Netherlands, Germany and Europe even better in the future. TenneT now provides a total of more than ten gigawatts of grid connection capacity in the Dutch and German North Sea. In order to achieve the ambitious climate policy goals, everyone must pull together and work in partnership. It is essential to think of the energy transition in European terms, to stimulate the market accordingly and to set important incentives by politicians, as well as in the industry itself. TenneT is leading the way here, for example, with the large-scale tenders launched last year for the future offshore grid connections with the new transmission capacity size of two gigawatts per system.”

More offshore balance data

In the German North Sea, the maximum value of feed-in capacity from offshore wind farms in 2022 was measured at 6255 megawatts (MW) on 22 November. The capacity expansion of offshore wind farms in the German North Sea was 7036 MW on the reporting date of 31 December 2022, 357 MW higher than in the previous year (6679 MW). TenneT’s offshore transmission capacity is 7132 MW in the German North Sea.

Wind turbines in the Baltic Sea (50Hertz grid area) generated 3.62 terawatt hours in 2022 (previous year 3.7 TWh), so Germany’s total offshore generation in this period was 24.75 terawatt hours (of which North Sea 21.13 TWh). 

Adding 100.53 terawatt hours) of onshore wind energy generated, the total yield in Germany comes to 125.28 terawatt hours) (previous year 88.5 TWh).

Area development plan 2023 creates clarity for offshore connections in Germany

In accordance with the previous specifications of the Network Development Plan (NEP) and the Area Development Plan (FEP), TenneT began planning and implementing the BalWin1 (NOR-9-1), BalWin2 (NOR-10-1) and BalWin3 (NOR-9-2) projects in Germany as early as 2020. In the meantime, the German government’s expansion targets for offshore wind energy have significantly increased to at least 30 gigawatts in 2030 and at least 40 gigawatts in 2035. The revised expansion targets for offshore wind energy were taken into account in the update of the FEP carried out in 2022.

The Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency has now published the final FEP 2023. In this, the project sponsorship of the TenneT projects BalWin1 and BalWin2 was transferred to Amprion in agreement with the Federal Network Agency and, at the same time, assigned to other onshore grid connection points than previously. This change was already apparent in the first drafts of the FEP so that TenneT took this into account in advance and began planning the further offshore grid connections required to achieve the new expansion targets for offshore wind energy.

The changed project allocation and the additional offshore grid connections will also be reflected in the 1st draft of the NDP 2037/2045 (2023), expected in March 2023.

In addition to the four 900 MW offshore projects currently under construction, TenneT is thus also responsible for the realisation of the following six new offshore grid connections, each with a transmission capacity of two gigawatts, by 2031:

  • BalWin3 (NOR-9-2) with Wilhelmshaven grid connection point2
  • BalWin4 (NOR-9-3) with grid connection point Unterweser
  • LanWin1 (NOR-12-1) with Unterweser grid connection point
  • LanWin2 (NOR-12-2) with grid connection point in the Heide area
  • LanWin4 (NOR-11-2) with grid connection point Wilhelmshaven2
  • LanWin5 (NOR-13-1) with grid connection point at the NordWest hub (Westerstede, Wiefelstede, Rastede, Ovelgönne area).

With the NEP 2037/2045 (2023) confirmation, the project sponsorship for further offshore grid connections to be realised with completion from 2032 is expected.

Image source: Courtesy of TenneT

Read more Power cable news here