Country Reports


The revised 2012 version of the Renewable Energy Sources Act, adopted in 2011 and in force since 1 January 2012, is designed to facilitate a sustainable development of energy supply in Germany, to reduce the costs of energy supply to the national economy, to conserve fossil fuels, and to promote the further development of technologies for the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources.

To achieve this purpose, the Act aims to increase the share of renewable energy sources in electricity supply to at least 35% by 2020 and 50% by no later than 2030; 65% by 2040 and 80% by no later than 2050, and to integrate these quantities of electricity in the electricity supply system.

The following definition has been adopted: “renewable energy sources” shall mean hydropower, including wave power, tidal power, salt gradient and flow energy, wind energy, solar radiation, geothermal energy, energy from biomass, including biogas, biomethane, landfill gas and sewage treatment gas, as well as the biodegradable fraction of municipal waste and industrial waste (source: Act on granting priority to renewable energy sources, 1 April 2012).

The tariff paid for electricity generated from hydropower, which includes the above mentioned ocean energy sources, amounts to 12.7 cents per kilowatt/hour for the first 500 kilowatts of the rated average annual capacity; 8.3 cents per kilowatt/hour for the rated average annual capacity between 500 kilowatts and 2 megawatts etc. and finally goes down to 3.4 cent for a capacity over 50 MW. The current Feed-in Tariff system includes a decrease of the tariff for hydropower by 1% per year, starting in 2013.

In 2013, the Ministry for the Environment was still in charge of funding research on renewable energies, including wave and tidal technologies. Details of the currently funded projects can be found in the 2012 country report. In addition, the Ministry of Economics and Technology runs the research programme “Next generation maritime technologies”, which is valid for the period 2011-2015 and covers shipbuilding, navigation and maritime technologies. Marine energy technologies are explicitly mentioned under the strategic objectives for maritime technologies due to the significant future opportunities these offer. Consequently, R&D projects with regard to ocean energy technologies are in principle eligible under this programme.



In the public sector, around 15 R&D institutes and universities are involved into developing wave, tidal current and osmotic power mainly in the framework of European research projects. The National funding in the framework of the national energy research programme for renewable energies was approximately €160 million in 2011. This programme is open to ocean energy research. Up to now, six technology projects related to the development of components and concepts for tidal turbines and wave energy components have been funded by the federal Environment Ministry (BMU) with a total amount of around €7 million. For details please see the 2012 country report for Germany.

Former Siemens subsidiary, Marine Current Turbines (MCT), responsible for the yearlong successful operation of the 1.2 MW SeaGen S device at Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, was sold to Singapore based Atlantis Resources Limited in mid - 2015 after being acquired by Siemens in 2012.

Voith Hydro Ocean Current Technologies, former joint venture of Voith Hydro and Innogy Venture Capital and being behind the testing of the HyTide 1000-16 tidal turbine demonstrator at EMEC in 2013 and 2014, have terminated these activities.

In July 2015, a consortium consisting of SCHOTTEL HYDRO, Fraunhofer IWES, the Institute for Fluid- and Thermodynamics (IFT) at the University of Siegen, Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA) and Potsdam Model Basin (SVA), has started the project “TidalPower”, which will run for three years. The aim of the project is to facilitate the deployment of the first prototype of the semi-submersible tidal power platform “TRITON” at the FORCE tidal research centre at the Bay of Fundy, Canada. The TRITON, developed by SCHOTTEL HYDRO subsidiary TidalStream Ltd., carries 40 SCHOTTEL Instream Turbines, reaching a total nominal power output of 2.5 MW. It will be built and delivered by SCHOTTEL HYDRO subsidiary Black Rock Tidal Power.

The Project “Development and Optimization of a Drive Train for Tidal Current Turbines” by ANDRITZ HYDRO was successfully finished in 2015 after running for more than two and a half years. Details of the project outcome have not been published yet.

The EpoSil (Electro-Active Polymers Based on Silicon for Power Generation) project, conducted by Robert Bosch GmbH, Bosch Rexroth, Wacker Chemie AG, Brinkmeyer & Partner, Technical University of Darmstadt and Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, ended in early2015. Its aim was to research electro-active polymers for wave power and potentially other applications. An appropriate polymer and a small scale point absorber demonstrator have been developed in the course of the project and being researched at the Hamburg test basin.

The NEMOS GmbH develops a wave energy converter consisting of an elongated floating body, which is
braced by three cables to the ocean floor. Excited by the movement of waves, it transmits mechanical energy to the generator by means of a cable. The generator itself is positioned at the tower of a wind turbine above the sea water level. Since August 2015, the NEMOS 1:5 test device at the Nissum Bredning Test Station for Wave Energy, Denmark, operates in full automatic mode, feeding energy into the grid. In November testing of the first full scale components started at the Institute of Mechanical Handling and Logistics at the University of Stuttgart. In December, a floating service platform
was prepared at the port of Hanstholm, waiting for tow-out in 2016 to be utilized for anchor drag tests and installation works (source:

Wave power developer SINN Power GmbH announced in late 2015 that their first wave power module has been successfully installed on the Island of Crete, Greece, and has generated power from ocean waves (source:

Other German suppliers, such as Bosch Rexroth, Schaeffler, Contitech, Thyssen Krupp, Hunger Hydraulik and Hydac, deliver components and parts for a number of ocean energy devices – for wave as well as tidal turbine technologies mainly in Europe.

Certification companies such as the DNV Gl-Group and consultants are contributing to the technology and project development in the sector. This international collaboration demonstrates the technology export opportunities, which exist in ocean energy for the German industry.


Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is used as a decision making tool in all activities developed in the North and Baltic Sea. However, there are no defined areas for ocean energy in Germany and the MSP regime does not specifically consider ocean energy developments.

Nevertheless, areas for offshore energy power production have been specified and implemented by the Federal Government’s strategy to wind energy use at sea (2002), which is part of its overall sustainability strategy. This plan aims to create framework conditions for offshore wind energy potential to be exploited, in addition, the Federal Government’s Energy and Climate Programme (IEKP) of December 2007 formulates the goal of increasing the proportion of renewable energies in electricity production.

The Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) has determined the targets and principles of spatial planning for the German Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the North and Baltic Sea with regards to economic and scientific use, safety and efficiency of maritime traffic as well as protection of the marine environment. The MSP covers all three dimensions of the marine space (surface, water column and seabed), and identifies specific zones for maritime activities. The spatial plan for the EEZ is available for public consultation in the libraries of the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency.

The Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) is the federal agency overseeing licensing for renewable energy projects in the EEZ based on the Maritime Spatial Plan for the North and Baltic Sea.

Within the 12 nautical mile limit, i.e. in the area of the territorial sea, the German coastal states are responsible for the approval of renewable energy, because an approval granted by the BSH for installations in the EEZ is not legally binding for approval procedures involving installations on land and in the territorial sea.

The BSH and the competent regional Waterways and Shipping Directorate also examine whether the project would constitute a hazard to navigation. For a wind farm project to obtain approval, the regional Waterways and Shipping Directorate must have consented to it under the aspect of navigation safety.

The Federal Energy Regulator (BundesNetzagentur) is in charge of approving applications for an offshore grid on economic grounds.

The approval procedure has the following steps:

• Competent authorities like the regional Waterways and Shipping Directorates and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation are informed about the project application and asked to comment;
• A project presentation is offered to the project planner during an application conference. An important aspect of the approval procedure is an early involvement of the German coastal states, which have to approve the laying of land feeder cables through the territorial sea for the transport of electricity to onshore substations;
• If required by the BHS, the applicant prepares an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and a risk analysis to be reviewed by the BSH and if requirements are met the project is approved.

There is no specific authority responsible to manage the ocean energy consenting process (“one stop shop” facility or entity).

In the EEZ, the potential impacts of the planned facilities on the marine environment have to be assessed. An EIA is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

The responsible for the decision on whether an EIA is required is the BSH. In the course of the approval procedure, the BSH reviews whether the marine environmental features to be protected are at risk by the project deployment and informs the project’s proponent if they are required to perform an EIA. As for offshore wind energy, the process is much clearer since offshore wind farm projects comprising more than 20 turbines require an EIA based on the Environmental Impact Assessment Act (UVPG).

There are also specific standards for the baseline and monitoring of offshore wind projects. In accordance with these standards, baseline and post-deployment surveys have to investigate impacts on features of conservation interest, i.e. fish, benthos, birds and marine mammals in order to determine their spatial distribution and temporal variability during three main stages:

• Pre-construction phase (baseline survey);
• To monitor the effects of construction, operation and decommissioning;
• To establish a basis for evaluating the monitoring results.

There are no specific EIA steps for ocean energy projects, therefore these projects are considered under the existing legislation for the offshore wind sector.

There are no well-defined procedures to obtain consent for ocean energy, therefore these projects are considered under the legislation designed to the offshore wind sector.

The legislation used to regulate offshore renewable energy deployments in the North and Baltic Sea is the Maritime Spatial Plan.

The consultation process starts upon the submission of the projects application to the competent authorities.

A larger number of stakeholders are involved in the process: the public has the possibility to inspect the planning documents. Mandatory consultees include all competent authorities (including the regional Waterways and Shipping Directorates, mining authority, Federal Agency for Nature Conservation) associations (e.g. nature protection, commercial and small craft shipping, fisheries, and wind energy associations) and the public.

Subsequent to the second round of participation, an application conference is held during which the applicant has the opportunity to present the project. Conflicting interests and uses are discussed, and the scope of investigations required to study possible effects on the marine environment is determined.

There are guidelines for the promotion of offshore wind energy use in accordance with the Federal Government’s sustainability strategy. These guidelines can provide helpful inputs for the developers of ocean energy projects.