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Germany

Germany

Further detail given on proposed German cap

GERMANY: The future of German onshore wind expansion has become clearer after a round of talks between the premiers of Germany's 16 federal states with the federal government.

Onshore wind installations will be capped at 2.8GW per year (pic: Siemens AG)
Onshore wind installations will be capped at 2.8GW per year (pic: Siemens AG)

Onshore wind installations will be capped at 2.8GW per year, but growth in installed capacity will be less, depending how many turbines are decommissioned each year, according to federal economy minister Sigmar Gabriel.

The draft legislation had earlier relegated onshore wind to a supporting role, dependent on developments by all other renewables.

The 2.8GW per year cap would be a major downturn on the 3,731MW installed in 2015 and 4,750MW installed in 2014.

These years were marked by developers' efforts to beat introduction of negative changes in the renewable energy act 2014, but the cap is similar to performance in the more "normal" year 2013 when 2,998MW was installed.

In an effort to slow wind energy expansion in regions where network expansion is failing to keep up with renewables growth, "network expansion zones" are to be defined where onshore wind installations may not exceed 60% of the expansion rate of the previous three years, Gabriel said.

In 2017, a tender process will be used to set the MWh support rates. To avoid a rush on projects before then, the federal government plans an additional one-off 5% reduction in support rate in June 2017 that is to come on top of the existing reductions of up to 1.2% per quarter under the current 2014 renewable energy act.

The draft renewable energy act 2016 is now expected to be rubber-stamped by cabinet on 8 June 2016. The federal government said the new act will take effect from 1 January 2017.

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