Slow German wind energy expansion continues as applications wait for approval
Handelsblatt / RND
The number of approved applications for new wind turbine installations in Germany has fallen dramatically in the past months, business newspaper Handelsblatt reports. While according to preliminary figures from the German Wind Energy Association (BWE), there had been an increase in new installations of more than 5 percent between January and September compared to the same period last year, the number of newly approved turbines fell by 16.2 percent. BWE president Hermann Albers said 10,000 megawatts (MW) of planned projects were on the desks of the approval authorities, adding that a faster increase in installations is needed to achieve expansion targets in the sector. “In order to complete procedures by the end of the year, decision making needs to be accelerated,” he said.
With 365 new installations with a total output of 1,575 MW, just over half of the planned additional wind power capacity for this year has already been reached, according to media outlet RND. The target for this year, established by economy minister Robert Habeck (Greens), is 3,000 MW. Renewable energy is seen as key to achieving Germany’s climate targets and becoming less dependent on fossil fuel imports. However, recent tenders for onshore wind have attracted fewer bidders than expected. Additionally, expansion speed has differed from state to state, with southern Germany generally falling behind. This north-south divide has only intensified with wind expansions this year, BWE said, referring to a survey conducted by the Onshore Wind Energy Agency. “The states that have fallen behind for years both in terms of installed capacity and new construction will not build enough new capacity in the coming years to balance out the divide between north and south,” BWE said.