Renewable Energy World has an article on the need to expand transmission capacity to handle increased generation from offshore wind farms in Europe - Transmission Stalls European Offshore Wind Power.
Germany's first offshore wind farm has been built and is now generating electricity. Dozens more wind farms are slated for construction over the next few years – as part of the German government's push to install 10,000 megawatts (MW) offshore wind capacity by 2020. But all of them will need to plug into powerful grids, both offshore and onshore, to transport the thousands of MW of additional renewable energy across the country and possibly beyond, and these may be slow in coming.
Germany’s first offshore wind farm has been online since the end of last year. The twelfth and last wind turbine in the Alpha Ventus park, off the North Sea island of Borkum, was built in November. The park is the first to employ a dozen 5-MW-class wind turbines, located 45 kilometers (34 miles) offshore in waters 30 meters (33 yards) deep. It will provide enough electricity to power 50,000 homes.
Alpha Ventus is the first of many planned wind parks in Germany. The government has approved plans to dedicate special zones off its northern coast to house up to 40 offshore wind parks that could provide electricity to more than 8 million households. The plan calls for setting aside zones between 12 and 200 kilometers of the northern shores. Of the 40 wind farms, 30 will be in the North Sea and 10 in the Baltic Sea. More than 25 of the planned farms have already received approval, with the bulk of them in the North Sea.
In total there will be more than 12,000 MW of offshore wind electricity by 2030, the equivalent of 12 medium-size nuclear plants, according to the German Federal Transport Ministry. The government’s plan is to double the current amount of energy supplied by wind in the country to 12 percent by 2020. Indeed, wind plays a big role in the energy plans of German policymakers to satisfy 30 percent of the country’s energy needs with renewable energy resources by 2030.