Offshore-Windenergie in Deutschland und Großbritannien : Industrie- und energiegeographische Faktoren und AusbauerfordernisseFromho

Buijzen, Michael; Wieger, Axel (Thesis advisor); Fromhold-Eisebith, Martina (Thesis advisor)

Aachen (2016)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Dissertation, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, 2016


As of 2005/06, various offshore wind projects in Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdomand Germany have been planned or are already under construction. From the perspective of ageographical analysis, the question arises, what impact the development of a new industrialsector (here in particular the offshore wind industry sector) may exercise on the regional andoverall economic situation of different European economies.It is the European Union’s ambitious and binding environmental objective that by 2020 anaverage of 20 % of primary energy consumption (PEC) of the individual European memberstates must originate in renewable energy sources (in detail Germany 18 % and the UK 15 % –EU Directive 2009/28/EC). Because of this objective, those industries in the renewable energysector which achieve the highest possible (sustainable) value added in the country ofinstallation and offer extensive export opportunities through technological leadership get in thefocus of policy and economic development agencies. With a 20 % average primary energyconsumption (PEC) from renewable energies – which contain the sectors of heat, transport andelectricity – the renewable electricity must take a systemically important share of at least 35 %of the overall electricity mix. With up to 4400 full load hours, on average with mostly 5megawatts (mw) – almost twice as strong turbine capacity per installed system –, a 40 % higheryield wind and additionally occurring positive synergy effects in the formation of offshore windfarm clusters, the offshore wind energy, in my opinion, is a key technology for the intendedsystem change.To give the offshore wind sector long-term investment and planning security, the FederalMaritime and Hydrographic Agency of Germany tries at an early stage to adjust the spatialplans for the North and Baltic Seas for new developments, such as the maritime resourceextraction and Energy-Sea cable laying by creating geographically concentrated priority areas.Any other use is excluded in these priority areas. In the current legally binding spatialdevelopment plan of the German “Exclusive Economic Zone” (EEZ) for offshore wind energy(North Sea 26.09.2009, Baltic Sea 19.12.2009), there are seven designated priority areas,thereof five priority areas in the North Sea with a total size of 880 km2 and two priority areas inthe Baltic Sea with a total size of 130 km2 (totally including 22 offshore wind farms with agenerating capacity of 11 gigawatts).In the first two rounds of tendering respectively development (the “Tender Round 1” in the year2000 and the “Tender Round 2” in the year 2003), the British Royal Administration “The CrownEstate” has awarded a total of eight gigawatts of generation capacity in the area of offshore wind energy. The third development round (“Tender Round 3”), which took place in the year2010 and should be completed by the year 2030, gives the currently developing UnitedKingdom offshore wind industry long-term development opportunities for further 25 gigawatts.Previously implemented offshore wind energy projects in Germany have shown a variety ofspecial features, such as water depth up to 55 meters, large coastal distances up to 150 km andspecial project investors’ structures. Due to geographical conditions and spatial use, the futureoffshore wind energy project areas and clusters will be further and further away from themainland. Therefore, the “Construction Logistics” and the subsequent “Service Logistics” arebecoming an increasingly important and complex part of the value chain. Numerous companiesfrom the logistics sector, but also from far dissimilar industries, such as construction companyHochtief, have recognized these developments and align with the currently growing offshorewind industry and their specific requirements. A special ship of the latest generation is able toset up about 80 complete offshore wind energy systems. This new generation of installation andinstaller ships can install offshore heavy-duty components without delays and interruptions up to300 days a year, even under very difficult weather conditions (high waves and strong winds).Weather related delays within the installation process are major cost factor in the field ofconstruction logistics and are minimized by this new generation of installation and installerships.As part of the current energy revolution, considerable structural adjustments of the currentinfrastructure have to be made. The German government has recognized that with regards tothe energy-economic developments the systemically important power grid extension receivesan additional dynamic. Since the year 2009, the federal government legislated a number ofimportant laws, such as the “Power Grid Expansion Act”, the “Grid Expansion Acceleration ActTransmission Network”, the “Infrastructure Planning Acceleration Act” as well as the for theentire power infrastructure superordinate “Federal Network Development Plan” in May 2012. Amajor challenge of the future electricity infrastructure in terms of spatial planning are the futureFederal Country Cross AC and HVDC connections, since the approval of State practice variesgreatly from state to state.A detailed understanding of the current price structure is of central importance to understandmany energy-economic activities and relationships. Due to Germany’s feed-in-tariff“Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz” (EEG) in the year 2000 and the United Kingdom’s RenewableObligation Certificate (ROC) system in the year 2002, there are (at least in theory) two differentfunding systems that need to be considered in the assessment of past developments and future prospects of a strengthened international competing offshore wind industry when it comes to themonetary promotion of new energy generation capacities in the field of renewable energies.A successful structural policy requires knowledge of spatial structures, the recognition of globalproduction contexts and a sense of future trends. A prominent theory of spatial structure ofwhole countries with a differentiated analysis of the shift of economic growth of individualeconomic powers is the "theory of long waves". The economic dynamism of the current 4. Longwave ("Kondratieff-wave") has been reduced in recent years, which could indicate leakage ofthe current wave. In my view, the renewable energies in general and offshore wind energy inparticular have, because of their various technical innovation capability, the potential to becomethe basis component of a fifth long wave. The Federal Government supports the establishmentof a diversified offshore wind industry in northern Germany by a variety of economicinterventions, including EEG increase for offshore wind power, initiation of a €5 billion-KfWcreditprogram for 10 German offshore wind farms. An offshore wind industry which is creatingnew sustainable jobs in secondary, tertiary and quaternary sector in the cyclical and structuralweakcoastal regions in northern Germany must be supported by highest state priority.Unlike many other industrial production sectors, the emerging offshore wind industry sectorrequires a very specific supra- and infrastructure due to the heavy-duty components used(individual system components such as foundations and nacelles weigh up to 350 t). The basicintention of the industrial location theory of Alfred Weber (1909), that the optimal location for anindustrial company is at the mathematically calculated "tons kilometric minimum point"(transport costs minimal point), has for the offshore wind industry due to the heavy-dutycomponents used a transferable significance. In pursuit of the sustainable strategy "LogisticsOptimized Offshore Base, Maintenance and Service Ports for the Offshore Wind Industry”, inGermany and in the United Kingdom, high investment costs must be placed in enabling heavydutyland and commercial and industrial wharves at seaports. The most important NorthGerman ports in this group are Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Emden and the ports of the "PortCooperation Offshore Ports North Sea Schleswig-Holstein" (with the North Sea ports DagebüllBrunsbuettel Husum, Helgoland, Wyk auf Foehr, Büsum, Sylt ports List and Hörnum andRendsburg-Osterrönfeld). As relevant East German ports, the ports of Rostock, Rügen andSassnitz could be identified. Only since the announcement and definition of “Tender Round 3”,the British ports started to develop a port development concept that is tailored to the offshorewind industry. The focus is on the ports at the northeast coast of England (Hartlepool and Tees,Tyneside, Humber and Great Yarmouth) and the Scottish coast (Hunterston, Cromarty Firth,Peterhead Bay, Montrose, Dundee and Methil).In the logistically optimized offshore base ports, the resident business development andregional development companies pursue "Cluster Concepts" by a geographic concentration ofinterconnected companies and institutions in a particular value range, promoting a highlycomplex, diversified production network with dynamic internal interactions in an agglomeration.The location-theoretical intention is that the economic development and the emergence ofknowledge and innovation are strongly accelerated by geographical proximity and synergies.The highly specialized provider of automation technologies in industrial production havedeveloped first prototype concepts for a (partial) automation of various manufacturing steps ofthe value chain and put into practice in companies of the offshore wind energy industry.In Germany, unlike in the United Kingdom (where currently little industry in the field of windenergy is represented), the onshore and offshore wind energy industry is integrated into adense network of supply companies, which both can be characterized by a strong division oflabor among themselves as well as by a strong competition with each other. By thesecircumstances, the companies are indirectly forced to develop and implement "product andprocess innovations" in the ever shorter "product life cycles".