11 Mar 2024, 13:06
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany’s onshore wind power expansion firmly back on growth track, industry says

Clean Energy Wire

The expansion of onshore wind power in Germany is picking up again and it appears that a “politically caused” dent in newly installed capacity between 2019 and 2021 has been overcome, industry lobby group BWE has said. The outcome of this year's first tender with successful bids totalling more than 1.8 gigawatts (GW) and an expected top-up in volume to almost 5 GW in the upcoming four tenders are a cause for optimism in the industry, BWE said. At the same time, many projects that have been held up in lengthy licensing procedures of more than five years will be implemented this year. However, delays in securing designated wind power production sites and the supply of technical components, as well as difficulties in transport logistics for large turbine elements continue to weigh on a faster expansion, BWE president Bärbel Heidebroek said. “There needs to be a licensing boost in all states,” especially in the laggard southern German states, she argued. Wind power overtook coal as the country’s most important electricity source in 2023, underlining the technology’s potential for becoming the energy system’s backbone, Heidebroek added. “Together with the record volume in new licenses from the past year, this shows that the industry has come out of its slump of the past years. It is up to the states now to sustain this trend.”

At the end of last week, Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) announced the results of the country’ first renewable power auctions in 2024, confirming a positive trend in the uptake of onshore wind power. “We’re not yet where we want to be in terms achieving our wind power expansion goals. But we’re on a good way to get there,” BNetzA head Klaus Müller commented. Throughout 2023, the total volume of submitted projects was 6.5 GW, a significant increase over the previous years, Müller said. Between 2018 and 2022, bids never exceeded 3.7 GW per year, he added.

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