RWE Wind Target at Risk as Germany Struggles to Connect Turbines

RWE AG, Germany’s second-largest utility, said delays connecting wind farms in the North Sea put at risk the company’s target for renewable energy

“Without the wind parks we won’t reach our enlargement goal concerning renewable energies,” Rolf Martin Schmitz, RWE’s chief operating officer, told reporters in Berlin today. RWE wants to more than double the share of renewable power in its total output to 20 percent in 2020.

Grid operator TenneT TSO GmbH has said it doesn’t know when it will be able to connect RWE’s 1 billion-euro ($1.25 billion) North Sea East wind project to the German grid because of technical issues.

“If the wind park can’t work, it costs us 100 million euros a year,” Schmitz said in Berlin, where he is attending a conference organized by the BDEW, a lobby group for German utilities.

Building offshore wind farms in the North Sea is a key element in Germany’s shift to renewable energy after it decided to close all its nuclear reactors. Delays in connecting the projects threaten to undermine investment, RWE said.

“Offshore wind power is still at the very initial stage in Germany,” Peter Terium, who will take over as RWE chief executive officer on July 1, said at the conference. “We lose speed before we have even got started.”

Speaking at the same event, Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier announced plans to clarify liability for wind-farm connections.

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