The European Commission has approved Germany’s plan to support the construction of 20 offshore wi
nd farms by paying operators a premium on top of the market price for electricity.
The Commission said in a statement on Thursday that the projects do not conflict with state aid rules and would contribute to reaching Germany's 2020 targets for renewable energy without distorting competition. The total investment costs amount to $31.19bn.
Under EU law, the Commission can order the recovery of state aid given to companies if it finds it distorts competition.
The Commission said that the wind farms will enable new electricity providers to enter the German market.
In total, the projects approved will make available up to 7GW of renewable energy generation capacity. All wind farms are planned to start producing electricity by the end of 2019 at the latest.
In total, they are expected to generate 28TWh terawatt-hours of renewable electricity per year amounting to almost 13 per cent of Germany's 2020 renewable energy target.