Onshore wind energy 2014: Record 4,750 megawatt rise in installations in Germany

Additional volume is due to the allocation of land and the special political situation in Germany in the previous years. The number of turbines dismantled and replaced has also reached an all-time high. German wind industry is well positioned in the booming global market. Reliable political framework is needed for continued expansion in order to meet government targets.

Berlin, 29th January 2015: The massive support for the energy transition given by the federal states has made its impact. The wind industry in Germany has been able to install 4,750 megawatts of new capacity in Germany for the first time according to figures established by Deutsche WindGuard on behalf of the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) and VDMA Power Systems. This represents a growth of 58 per cent over the added capacity in the previous year (2,998 megawatts). BWE president Hermann Albers states that “This has only been possible because, following the Fukushima disaster, state governments from Bavaria to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, from Saarland to Schleswig-Holstein have set aside new areas for onshore wind generation since 2011”.

Figures recorded show that 544 wind turbines with an installed capacity of around 364
megawatts were dismantled in 2014, resulting in a net increase of approximately 4,386
megawatts. Lars Bondo Krogsgaard, chairman of the wind turbine steering committee at
VDMA says: “2014 saw not only record increases in new builds and the dismantling of older turbines, but also in replacement turbines with a capacity far exceeding 1,000 megawatts. Repowering has thus become a billion euro market. Although some federal states will still designate new areas for wind turbines, in future there must be increased focus on repowering. Up-to-date, efficient wind turbines provide important system services and thus contribute to grid stability”, emphasises Lars Bondo Krogsgaard.

“Today we are harvesting what the state governments and parliaments have sown since
2011,” says Hermann Albers. “In most federal states the opportunities for regional value
creation offered by the energy transition were quickly recognised and boldly exploited. Landbased wind energy made another great leap forward in 2014, emphasising the fact that it is the driving force of the energy transition. The fact that the increase in installations has been so dynamic and also exceeds our forecasts is also due to the insecurity fuelled by the new distance rules in Bavaria and debate surrounding the EEG (Renewable Energy Sources Act). Continuous and less abrupt expansion of wind energy is essential for the success of manufacturing and of the energy transition, where power, mobility and heating have to be considered together.”

Lars Bondo Krogsgaard. “Energy transition is on the road to success both nationally and
internationally. The substantial increase in turbine installation in Germany has gone hand in hand with significant growth in international markets where German manufacturers are in an excellent position due to their technology leadership. The only way to safeguard this
technology is to continue to dynamically develop the technology in the German domestic
market.” Reliable estimates made by VDMA Power Systems show that worldwide about
44,000 megawatts were installed onshore in 2014, an increase of 31 per cent over 2013
(33,658 megawatts). Bloomberg Energy Finance estimates the US market in 2014 to be
4,700 megawatts and Chinese market 20,700 megawatts. “With regard to new installed
capacity, the German market is on par with the US market and a quarter of the Chinese
market. Unfortunately these markets are difficult for the German wind industry because of the changing conditions in the USA and the walling off tendencies in China. On the other hand, in 2014 Germany had a good base in the established European markets. German
manufacturers have also been able to score in booming markets like Turkey with 800
megawatts in 2014, South Afrika, Canada with 1,800 megawatts in 2014, Mexico and the
South American countries”, continues Lars Bondo Krogsgaard.“

VDMA Power Systems and the BWE point out that the significant increase in installation has no impact on electricity prices. On the contrary, cost-effective onshore wind energy plays a role in ensuring that electricity for homes, trades, commerce and industry remains affordable.

According to German government plans, renewable energy should make up 40 to 45 per
cent of the power supply by 2025 and at least 80 per cent by 2050. Chancellor Angela
Merkel emphasised this again at the German Renewable Energy Association’s New Year
Reception on 14 January. “We assure the government that we will reach these expansion
targets”, said Hermann Albers and Lars Bondo Krogsgaard, “as long as there is continuous
development of wind energy”. “The government must now provide a reliable regulatory framework and in particular it must ensure that the design of the electricity market is based flexibility being rewarded”, said Hermann Albers.

“For 2015 we expect a significant net increase in Germany in the order of 3,500 to 4,000
megawatts. While we expect a decline in the market in 2016 it will remain at a high level. The outlook for 2017 depends on when tenders are received and how they are shaped. We
welcome the fact that the government is having an intensive exchange of information about this with the industry and we hope for a careful development of the change of the system to a tendering procedure with clearly defined transition periods. The invitations for tenders and the new electricity market design must be a success. Germany, also as global technology leader, cannot afford anything else“, continued Lars Bondo Krogsgaard.


VDMA Power Systems
Catherine Diethelm
[email protected]
Bundesverband WindEnergie e.V.
Wolfram Axthelm
[email protected]