German onshore wind industry expects challenging times
Challenging times lie ahead for the German onshore wind industry after strong growth in 2016, according to business associations BWE and VDMA. In the past year, capacity additions grew by around one quarter compared to 2015 to 4,625 megawatts. The number of jobs in the sector increased to 135,000 in 2016 from 122,400 in the previous year, while industry revenue rose to 12 billion euros from 11.2 billion in 2015.
The associations expect 4,500 to 5,000 megawatts of new onshore wind capacity this year and 3,000 to 3,500 in 2018. Both years will be characterised by Germany’s transition to an auction-based system for renewable support. 2019 will be the first year in which only installations that won an auction will be realised. The associations fear this will lead to a drop in the German market to below 2,800 megawatts in 2019.
“Industry will work to compensate the decrease of the German market with exports,” said Matthias Zelinger, head of VDMA Power Systems. BWE said it is still hard to tell how many old wind turbines will be decommissioned after 2020 when they will no longer receive feed-in tariffs after a lifetime of 20 years. “A drop in total installed capacity is possible,” said the association’s head Hermann Albers. He warned that could pose a problem for government goals to power the transport and heating sectors with renewable energy in the future.
Find the press release in German here.
For background on Germany’s transition to an auction system for renewables, read the CLEW dossier The reform of the Renewable Energy Act.