Wind power: a promising revival

September 2021 – The industry experts at Hamburg Commercial Bank are looking forward to the upcoming Husum Wind trade fair. Not only because it will be held live again for the first time, but also because wind energy is on the verge of a promising comeback after a period in the doldrums.

Wind turbine

For Inka Klinger, Head of Project Finance at Hamburg Commercial Bank (HCOB), anticipation is growing for the start of the trade fair on September 14. While the 2020 trade fair, like so many events, unfortunately fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic, Klinger and her team are finally looking forward to four exciting days at the fair, enlightening technical discussions and exchanges with customers live on site.

Hamburg Commercial Bank is able to look back on a long tradition as a financier of wind energy

As was already the case two years ago, HCOB will be represented on the shared stand of Wirtschaftsförderung und Technologietransfer Schleswig-Holstein GmbH.

Inka Klinger: “We are really looking forward to it. We continue to maintain close ties with the rapidly growing industry, which is playing a central role in achieving global climate goals. Financing renewable energy projects is and will remain a growth area for Hamburg Commercial Bank.” HCOB has been a loyal companion to the industry for more than two decades, making it a financing pioneer from the very beginning.

Hamburg Commercial Bank's staunch commitment and loyalty to the wind energy sector are not something that should be taken for granted. After years of steady growth - not least thanks to the lavish subsidies under the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) - the German wind industry has faced considerable business headwinds of late. Numerous companies have disappeared from the market again; existing and new projects have to be planned much more shrewdly than before against the backdrop of declining subsidies, but also growing public protest and increasing regulation. But a stronger focus, not only on what makes ecological sense, but also on what is economically feasible, must not hamper further growth.

“We continue to maintain close ties with the rapidly growing industry, which is playing a central role in achieving global climate goals. Financing renewable energy projects is and will remain a growth area for Hamburg Commercial Bank.”

Inka Klinger, Global Head of Infrastructure Project Finance at Hamburg Commercial Bank

Expansion figures for wind energy are once again on the rise

On the contrary: since the beginning of the year, wind energy has been making noticeable progress again - which should also raise the spirits of visitors to Husum Wind. In the first half of 2021, 240 onshore wind turbines with a capacity of 971 megawatts (MW) were installed in Germany. By comparison, according to calculations by the German Wind Energy Association, the amount installed in the first half of 2021 “already exceeds the amount installed in 2019 as a whole and is 62 percent higher than the capacity commissioned in the first half of 2020”.

“The expansion figures for onshore wind energy continue to develop positively. It seems that the industry has managed to weather the storm. The latest tender results show that the number of projects approved is increasing,” says association president Hermann Albers. “However, we still have a rocky road ahead of us, which we now urgently need to smooth out. In order to achieve the ambitious European and national climate targets, the political course must now be set,” demands Albers.

Demand for renewable energy is growing rapidly. Mobility, heating and digitalization, as well as the highly ambitious transition by industry, are setting new standards. Everything must therefore be done to enable more permits overall,” says the German Wind Energy Association.

Windmill on sand

Source: Zielke research consult

Wind-based hydrogen as the next big thing

Additional onshore and offshore wind turbines will be necessary if even a small part of the wildest dreams of the “wind-generated hydrogen sector” are to come true. Green hydrogen based on wind power is one of the main focuses of the trade fair, in addition to onshore/offshore, repowering & recycling, and sector coupling & storage.

Wind-generated hydrogen is, in a positive sense, currently the stuff of dreams for the industry. A dynamically growing hydrogen economy is emerging in Europe and the UK; wind energy, and especially offshore wind, is the main driver of this. In Germany and throughout Europe, the offshore sector, industry and politics have recognized the potential for the production of climate-friendly hydrogen and green fuels. Matthias Zelinger, Managing Director of VDMA Power Systems and Head of the Competence Center Climate and Energy at the German Engineering Federation (VDMA): “For the industry to become climate neutral, wind energy is essential.”

And this will require appropriate, competent and well-connected investors. A separate new exhibition zone covering around 1,000 square meters has been dedicated to the subject of offshore and green hydrogen at this year’s Husum Wind, where domestic and foreign exhibitors from European core markets will present innovative technologies and products for the booming market.

Inka Klinger

Global Head Infrastructure Project Finance

Phone: +49 40 3333-11343
Fax: +49 40 3333-611343
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