German onshore wind energy hits historic lows

Iberdrola wind project
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With 1,078 MW and 325 turbines, the gross expansion of onshore wind turbines in 2019 reached the lowest level since the introduction of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) in 2000, according to the figures determined by Deutsche WindGuard.

The expansion was thus significantly below the forecast of 1,500 MW estimated by the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) and VDMA Power Systems in mid-2019.

According to industry estimates, growing gross electricity demand means that around 5,000 MW must be added each year in order to achieve the 65 percent target by 2030.

BWE and VDMA Power Systems are calling on the federal and state governments to refrain from counterproductive distance control. Instead, the other 17 points on the list of tasks of the Federal Ministry of Economics for strengthening wind energy would have to be implemented.

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Explains: Matthias Zelinger, managing director of VDMA Power Systems: “The effects of the additional lull on employment and added value in the wind industry must now be overcome urgently to keep the substance in Germany. The wind industry had to react to the declining production for the home market with drastic job cuts. If the market stagnates at this level, the loss of demand from Germany threatens to cause another 25 percent of the workforce to break away. A shift in production to export markets is not yet taken into account. Germany cannot maintain technological leadership in the wind industry without a home market.”

Hermann Albers, president of the Bundesverband WindEnergie, added: “In order to fill the tendering volume with projects and to achieve the expansion and climate protection goals, the identified and long-known approval obstacles must be removed as quickly as possible and more space for wind turbines must be designated. This requires an agreement between the federal government and the states before the spring. New hurdles such as blanket distance rules would exacerbate the situation and lead to a loss of around 40 percent of the potential wind areas in Germany. ”

The associations expect 1,400-1,800 MW to be added in 2020. However, the trend can only be reversed this year or next if the Federal Government consistently and quickly removes the obstacles to approval and avoids new obstacles.

According to industry forecasts, around 288 GW onshore could be built worldwide in 2019-2023 . During this period, around 72 GW could be realized in Europe with an average annual expansion of 14.4 GW. The prerequisite for this is that the member states implement the requirements of the new EU Renewable Directive. It is also important that the expansion of the network infrastructure is accelerated. Germany could see a gross increase of 11.2 GW by 2023.

The demand for renewable energy is increasing to a much larger extent and wind on land plays a central role here, the industry representatives emphasize. “The commitments of large technology companies to carbon-neutral production shows that the provision of electricity from renewable sources is increasingly becoming a location factor. The demand for wind power is also driven by additional needs for electrification and sector coupling. In addition, the Federal Government’s decision to phase out coal-fired power generation increases the need to accelerate the expansion of renewable energies. In order to prevent a renewable energy gap, the federal government has to correct the consumption assumptions for 2030, “says Matthias Zelinger.

Click here for the full press release.

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