Germany's wind power records conceal sector's woes, industry group BWE says
Clean Energy Wire
Electricity generation from wind turbines has provided 73 billion kilowatt-hours in the first six months of the year – a new record, Germany’s wind energy association BWE said. But at the same time, construction of new turbines has almost come to a standstill, the industry group argued. Only 513 megawatt (MW) of new capacity were added in the first five months of the year, and only 878 MW of turbines received construction permits. At the same time, tenders for new turbines were consistently undersubscribed. BWE and industry association VDMA therefore called on the government to initiate a real trend reversal by allowing for faster approval of new wind sites and also strengthening options for repowering existing facilities much more.
Wind power production in Germany accounted for over 30 percent of Germany's total net power generation in the first half of 2020, figures by research institute Fraunhofer ISE's energy charts database showed, more than the output of hard coal and lignite plants combined. Strong winds and lots of sunshine helped push the total power production share of renewables to over 55 percent between January and July, up from around 44 percent in the year before.
Germany’s government coalition last month ended months of wrangling over the future course of renewable energy expansion in the country by agreeing on minimum distance rules for wind power and abolishing a cap on solar power support. The agreement removes key hurdles to the renewables rollout seen as necessary in order to reach the country's climate targets. Germany aims to cover 65 percent of power consumption with renewables by 2030, but expansion of onshore wind power, the German energy transition's most important power generation technology, fell to the lowest level in 20 years in 2019, mainly due to regulatory hurdles and local opposition.