A week in Germany | Offshore wind is possible.

July 17, 2023. Marine Renewables Canada (MRC) was invited to be part of an Offshore Wind Canadian Expert Delegation Trip to Germany to learn about Germany’s thriving offshore wind industry and energiewende (energy transition). I was thrilled to be part of that delegation and spent the last week of June in Berlin, Hamburg, Cuxhaven, and Heligoland with this incredible group of Canadians 👇

Our first meeting drove home how seriously Germany takes the energiewende. We met with government representatives from the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Change. Yes, you read that right. “Finance” and “Climate Action” are one department with unified goals. Imagine that.

Germany’s not the oldest offshore wind market in Europe but it’s a mature market, with their first offshore turbines installed in 2009. Since then, offshore wind has played a key role in Germany’s energy transition, contributing reliable renewable energy to Germany’s grid, enabling Germany to phase out coal and nuclear, and reduce its emissions. Today, offshore wind represents roughly 20% of wind energy on the grid.

In Canada, offshore wind is still just an idea and we all have so many questions about what a Canadian offshore wind industry will look like. Getting to see offshore wind in action brought offshore out of the realm of ideas and into the real world.

We saw operating offshore wind farms and turbines being serviced in the North Sea. We heard from government and utilities about how this industry was built in its early stages and lessons learned along the way.

We also heard from companies who’ve been operating turbines for over 10 years and associations like MRC working to ensure development becomes more efficient and sustainable over time. We exchanged knowledge and built relationships that will benefit both Canada and Germany’s offshore wind industries.

It was an incredible learning opportunity for a delegation of individuals who will be key players in Canada’s offshore wind industry – including future regulators, provincial and federal decision makers, key stakeholders, and Indigenous groups. The delegation will continue to work together to ensure lessons learned are integrated into our work and spheres of influence. You can find a list of the delegation and the trip’s organizers at the end of this post. 

Canada has so much to learn from a mature offshore wind market like Germany’s. It’s impossible to distill all of the lessons learned in one post but there were a few key concepts that have stuck with me in the context of MRC’s work to help build a successful and sustainable offshore wind industry. Here they are 👇

A diverse portfolio of renewables = Increased grid reliability = Fewer unplanned interruptions.


The changing approach over time | Where we’re headed.


Plan ahead for gradual and realistic development targets. 


Who should bear the costs of bringing this energy home?


Is it possible to speed things up while developing responsibly and sustainably?


Canadian Delegation 

Jon Brady, Natural Resources Canada  

Brenda Chisholm-Beaton, Strait of Canso Offshore Wind Taskforce 

Jennifer MacNeil, Cape Breton Partnership 

Rob McGrath, Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board  

Dena Murphy, Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board  

Ashley Noseworthy, Edgewise Environmental 

Sven Scholtysik, Net Zero Atlantic 

Scott Tessier, Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board 

Alexandra Thomson, Indigenous Clean Energy 

Susan Wilkins, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador 

James Wooder, Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources  


Trip organizers & sponsors 

Renewables Academy (RENAC) 

Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce  


Canadian Embassy in Berlin 


Lisen Bassett | Policy & Communications Lead