New wind turbine installations in Germany grow almost 50% in early 2023
Clean Energy Wire / Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung
Germany installed 128 new wind turbines with a total capacity of 0.6 gigawatts (GW) between January and April 2023, an increase in the growth rate of 46 percent compared to the same period in the year before, according to figures by the Fachagentur Windenergie. Licenses for new installations increased even faster, as the greenlighting of 324 new turbines with a total capacity of 1.7 GW meant an increase of 61 percent compared to 2022. About 28,500 turbines were in operation across Germany as of March 2023, with a combined capacity of 58.5 GW. Nearly 8,000 of these installations have been in operation for more than 20 years, meaning they no longer receive a guaranteed remuneration through Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG).
Most new installations were built in northern Germany, while southern German states fell back even further than in the past years. In southern economic powerhouse state Bavaria, where wind power expansion has been particularly slow due to controversial minimum distance rules, conservative state premier Markus Söder of the Christian Socialist Union (CSU) announced the foundation of a state-owned wind power agency. Dubbed Bayernwind, it is supposed to ensure a faster roll-out of new turbines, especially in woodlands, newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung reported.
Onshore wind power is Germany’s most important renewable power source and is supposed to reach a capacity of 115 GW by 2030 as part of the government’s plan to source 80 percent of electricity from renewables by the end of the decade. The technology’s expansion has been slowed down by regulatory hurdles, slow licensing procedures and lawsuits filed by local interest groups trying to prevent construction in their neighbourhood.