07 Feb 2019, 13:43
Benjamin Wehrmann

German wind turbines generate three quarters of expected output

Clean Energy Wire

Wind power in Germany largely contributes about as much electricity to the national power mix as can be expected given the country’s meteorological conditions, the research association Max Planck Society says. Turbines roughly produce 73 percent of their theoretically possible energy output, the society’s researchers found after comparing power production figures with wind potential records of Germany’s Meteorological Service (DWD) between 2000 and 2014. According to the study, factors that can reduce turbine efficiency include turbine age and slipstreams of installations built next to one another, but part of the difference between estimated and actual output could not yet be explained, the researchers say. However, according to the study the diminishing effect of turbine density on the expectable power output is smaller than what so far had been expected. “We probably don’t use enough wind power yet to really see the effect of reduced wind speeds” caused by energy withdrawal from wind power turbines, researcher Sonja Germer said.
Onshore wind power contributed almost 15 percent to Germany’s gross power production in 2018 and offshore wind power another 3 percent, making wind power the most important renewable energy source by far. The government plans to constantly increase the share of wind power in total power production over the next years, but increasing resistance by local interest groups is becoming a growing hurdle for the technology.

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