13 May 2020, 13:32
David Reay

Survey reveals brighter outlook in German wind power industry

Business confidence within the German wind power industry has reversed its downward trend for the first time in two years. While still in negative territory, market sentiment in both the onshore and offshore industry improved for the second quarter of 2020 compared to the end of 2019, according to the twice-yearly WindEnergy trend:index (WEtix) survey. The outlook for 2021 and 2022 is also more positive, with the index for the offshore industry climbing from 0.04 points to 0.27.

Globally, industry expectations for 2020 remain largely positive, the survey reveals. However, unlike in Germany, confidence is declining. The outlook for the next two years also continues its positive trend, although all regions except Europe see a slight dip in offshore sentiment compared to the last quarter of 2019.

WEtix, produced by WindEnergy Hamburg, a trade fair, and wind:research, a market research institute for wind energy, notes two important caveats to its latest results. First, the Q4 2019 results marked a low point in confidence in the German wind industry and second, the questionnaire was designed before the global outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, it believes respondent replies build in feelings about the pandemic as the survey was conducted up until April 29. “If the federal government now resolutely removes the well-known obstacles, the wind industry can provide considerable support for the post-corona relaunch and make the Chancellor's ambitious climate action goals credible,” said Hermann Albers, President of the German Wind Energy Association.

After strong growth for several years, onshore wind power expansion in Germany has dropped to its lowest level in 20 years last year, with the construction of thousands of turbines being held up by licensing challenges and lawsuits. Meanwhile, Germany plans to expand offshore capacity to 20 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, from about 7.5 GW from nearly 1,500 offshore turbines in 2019. These contributed about four percent to Germany's gross power consumption.

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