18 Jul 2022, 13:11
Hannah Naylor

Number of wind turbines in German state falling amid government’s expansion push

Mitteldeutsche Zeitung

Despite the German government’s efforts to increase onshore wind power, in the first half of 2022 there has been a loss of wind turbines by dismantling of the infrastructure in the state Saxony-Anhalt, the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung reports. This is largely due to a lack of available land space for construction, alongside the removal of turbines which are not considered to be in an optimal position, the article says. According to a report by the International Economic Forum for Renewable Energies, 9 new turbines were built in the first half of 2022 in Saxony-Anhalt, with a total capacity of 33.8 megawatts (MW), while 21 old ones with a capacity of 28.3 MW were made redundant and taken down across the country. Felix Langer, office manager of Saxony-Anhalt state’s Renewable Energy Association, said “things are not moving forward because there is a lack of land to erect the wind turbines”, as well as the fact that official approval procedures are taking very long to complete. However, Langer said the construction of the turbines is “a licence to print money”, because of high energy prices meaning the plants would achieve high return rates.

The failed expansion of onshore wind turbines in the eastern state follows the government’s ambitious announcements to speed up construction at the start of 2022, after it was revealed onshore wind turbines remained at the same levels in 2021 as in 2011. The growth of renewable energy output has become even more crucial in recent months, as it is Germany’s main projected gateway to energy independence from Russia, amidst uncertainties regarding imports of gas.

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