After good expansion, there are now challenging times ahead. Further high onshore expansion figures for the fourth year running have underlined the continued excellent performance of the German wind industry. The German wind industry grew by about 4,625 megawatts (4,259 MW net), thus reaching the anticipated increase of almost a quarter over the previous year, and very nearly the 2014 level.
New offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 818 megawatts went online in 2016. The industry views this expansion as positive and expects that, combined with optimised turbine technology and operating concepts, this will also lead to cost reduction in the forthcoming tendering processes in Germany. This momentum will however be upset by the reduced expansion targets after 2020 that are part of the 2017 Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). These reduced expansion targets will also lead to a number of missed opportunities for the industry.
Brussels. Over half of citizens in the European Union could be generating their own renewable electricity by 2050, according to new research released today .The research outlines the potential for citizen-owned renewable energy projects in Europe, where 264 million “energy citizens” could generate 45% of the European Union’s electricity needs by 2050 – as part of a democratised energy system .
Strong expansion before the switch to tendering. With a net capacity of 1,892 megawatts in the first six months of the year, 2016 looks like being a good year for land-based wind energy expansion. This strong expansion is being driven by the allocation of suitable sites and priority areas in many federal states. There has also been a surge of permits in order to secure the option of installing turbines with legally fixed EEG remuneration rates.
As was to be expected, the number of new offshore wind installations in Germany was relatively moderate in the first six months of the year, with a total capacity of 258 MW going on line. The industry estimates an overall offshore expansion to the tune of 700 MW by the end of the year. The new Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) means troubled waters for the German offshore wind industry. A lower volume of project tenders means the German business base will be more costly and this will mean a loss of jobs. Grid expansion on land is necessary if the energy transition is to succeed.
Successful wind energy expansion, but the EEG amendment gives rise to growing uncertainty in the industry. With a net increase of 3,535.8 megawatts, 2015 was the second strongest year for onshore wind energy expansion in Germany. But the draft Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) 2016 does away with binding expansion targets, and will manage wind energy expansion on land by means of annually variable tendering quantities. This means uncertainty for manufacturers and operators.
Offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 2,282.4 megawatts went on grid 2015. This demonstrates the capability of the German offshore wind industry and meets the expectations expressed at the beginning of 2015. This will however initially remain a unique record, as it is based on the catch-up effects of grid connection.
The figures for onshore wind in Germany show a downturn in the first six months of this year. Despite this, the trade associations predict a net additional installation for the whole of 2015 of at least 4,000 megawatts, which would make climate goals achievable. The manufacturers are however burdened by a boom and bust market situation, and perch on a system that will guarantee continuous future expansion.
Berlin/Frankfurt. In the first half of 2015, another 422 offshore wind turbines, with a combined capacity of 1,765.3 megawatts went on line. Up to 30 June 2015 a total of 668 offshore turbines with an overall capacity of 2,777.8 megawatts fed power into the German grid. With the current offshore wind energy output the system can supply around three million households with power.