05 Jan 2024, 11:47
Julian Wettengel

German renewables expansion picks up speed in 2023, onshore wind still lagging

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s installed renewable power production capacity has increased by about 17 gigawatt in 2023 (to some 170 GW total), figures released by the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) have shown. The country took a “major step forward” especially regarding new solar PV facilities, said BNetzA head Klaus Müller. “These investments are driving the energy transition forward.” While onshore wind power expansion was still lagging, an increase in permits last year on the other hand looks set to translate into faster rising installation figures for wind turbines in the near future, Müller added.

At 14.1 GW, new additions of solar capacity almost doubled compared to 2022, said the regulator. This was largely due to numerous private systems, but there was also an increase in the expansion of solar installations on commercial roofs and open spaces. About 1.5 percent of these new additions were so-called balcony installations, which experienced a boom in 2023. While onshore wind expansion was higher than in 2022, the 2.9 GW of more capacity was far from what is needed to reach the 2030 target (installed capacity: 115 GW). Annual additions of 7.7 GW are necessary, the agency said.

The country’s solar industry association BSW said that more than one million new solar power systems were installed in Germany last year. However, wind power is the predominant source for electricity in the country. Overall, renewables covered more than half of power consumption for the first time in 2023.

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