Over 400 old wind turbines go offline in state of Brandenburg after losing support payments
Hundreds of wind turbines in the eastern German state of Brandenburg will be decommissioned this year because they will lose their guaranteed funding after 20 years in operation and can no longer be operated profitably, public broadcaster rbb reports. In an answer to a parliamentary inquiry, the state’s environment ministry said 429 turbines will be taken offline by the end of the year, out of a fleet of about 3,900 installations. Thousands of turbines across the country that started operation during or just after the year 2000 are at risk of going offline due to no longer being economically viable. However, wind power’s importance in Brandenburg continues to grow, and the speed of new construction picked up again in the first half of 2021. The state currently boasts about 7,700 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity and plans to bring the figure to 10,500 MW by 2030.
Onshore wind power is Germany’s most important renewable power source and is expected to cover most of the rising clean energy demand in the country over the coming decades. But construction of new turbines, which have a far greater electricity output than older models installed two decades ago, is often hampered by regulatory challenges and protests against new installations from local interest groups. A faster roll-out of new turbines and a concept for keeping older ones running as long as possible have been promised by most parties, and will be a key energy policy challenge for the country’s next government after the upcoming elections.