Jan. 26, 2001—With 6,113 MW of wind energy capacity installed at the end of 2000, Germany is well on its way to having 22,000 MW in place by 2010, European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) vice president Andreas Wagner told the Reuters news service January 23.

If that occurs, Wagner said, the country would account for more than one-third of EWEA’s target goal for all of Europe (60,000 MW). The crucial determinant, he added, will be whether offshore wind development grows as rapidly as hoped, and that in turn will depend on how quickly government planners grant permits for offshore projects.

Germany has had a strong legislative policy in place supporting wind for several years, and that policy was continued last year with a law extending subsidies for wind-generated electricity. Under the law, offshore projects receive up to Dpf 17.8/kWh (U.S. 8.4 cents/kWh) for the first nine years they are in operation and Dpf 12.1/kWh (U.S. 5.7 cents/kWh) thereafter. Projects on land are paid Dpf 17.8/kWh for electricity produced during the first five years of operation.

Germany had 9,375 turbines installed at the end of 2000, with the capability of generating approximately 11.5 billion kWh annually, or 2.5% of the country’s electricity demand. The country also achieved a single-country record for new installations in 2000, with 1,668 MW of new wind capacity being added during the year.

Reuters quoted Peter Ahmels, the president of BWE, the German Wind Energy Association, as saying Germany could cut its annual emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the most important greenhouse gas, by 20 million metric tons by the year 2005 through wind energy alone. That would be a quarter of the country’s goal of 80 million metric tons by that year.

Enercon led the German market in 2000 with a 27.4% share of newly-installed turbines, the article said, while Enron Wind GmbH was second with a 14.9% share.