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08 Jun 2022, 13:27
Kerstine Appunn

Supply chain disruptions and rising costs unsettle German windpower investors

Clean Energy Wire

Growing uncertainties are putting off wind farm investors and have led to another public tender for new wind capacity being undersubscribed, German wind energy association BWE has said. Although there would have been enough projects in the pipeline after the last two rounds of auctions were oversubscribed, wind power installation developers refrained from bidding in the May auction due to disrupted supply chains, rising costs and higher interest rates, the BWE said. “Many awarded projects can no longer be operated economically, as the tendering framework completely misses the reality of a dynamic cost development of supply chains,” the BWE said. “Without correction, there is a threat of further setbacks in the expansion of wind energy," said BWE head Hermann Albers. Short-term political measures are needed to turn existing approvals into feasible projects, the association argued.

Following the post-2013 wind power expansion boom, new onshore wind projects in Germany began to dwindle after 2017 and only slowly picked up again in the 2020s. Red tape, strict species protection rules and, in some states, very strict distance-to-homes rules for wind turbines are among the reasons for the decline in capacity additions. The federal government has made plans to considerably increase tender volumes as of next year to meet climate targets and drive forward Germany’s independence from imported fossil fuels and has proposed several amendments to streamline planning procedures. By 2035, all electricity generated in Germany is set to come from renewable sources, mainly wind and solar PV.

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