OBMC 2012 offshore wind sector meeting to centre on "The naked truth about offshore"

Offshore industry at a crossroads

Husum, (PresseBox) - The expansion of German offshore wind energy is becoming increasingly subject to delays. One of the reasons for this is that the grid operators are unable to give a definitive date when the planned wind farms will be connected up to the grid. It is unclear who will be responsible for any damages incurred if electricity is produced but cannot be fed into the grid. The European financial crisis is putting a further damper on the investment climate and some operator companies have already had to announce delays to the start of construction work on their offshore wind farms.

In line with the German Federal Government's political targets, 25,000 megawatts are to be installed offshore by 2030 as part of the energy transition plan; the current figure is barely 300 megawatts. Uncertainties with respect to grid development, unresolved liability issues and high project costs are just a few of the reasons for the slow progress being made. "We would like to speak openly about the problems facing the offshore industry and, together with experts from around the world, discuss possible ways of solving these issues," explains Dr. Matthias Hüppauff, Project Coordinator of the network agency windcomm schleswig-holstein. This is the fourth time he and his team are organising the Offshore Business Meetings & Conference (OBMC) in Husum's NordseeCongressCentrum (NCC) to take place this year on 5th and 6th November and entitled "The naked truth off-shore". They are again expecting over 300 guests from all over Europe to the conference and the accompanying trade fair. windcomm Project Director Martin Schmidt points out that, "Our market players have to be aware of both the risks and the opportunities which the offshore market currently represents. The first companies have already had to declare insolvency as a result of delays and excessive increases in project costs."

Open dialogue is the core element of the event. The two-day conference will open with a panel discussion on the chances and risks facing the German offshore industry. Speakers here will include Dr. Robert Habeck, Minister of Energy Transition for Schleswig-Holstein, Jörg Kuhbier, Chairman of the German OFFSHORE Wind Energy Foundation's Board of Directors and Hermann Albers, President of the German Wind Energy Association. The focus of the second day's programme will be international markets and players and the shortage of skilled and qualified labour in the wind sector. For details of the OBMC 2012 please see www.windcomm.de.

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