Germany expanded its wind power capacity by 799 MW during the first six months of 2008, 20% more than the 665 MW that went in the ground during the same period last year, thus raising Germany's total to 23,044 MW. The indication is that most developers are not waiting to bring their projects online until the new, higher power purchase rates over 20 years kick in from the start of 2009. Germany's wind association, Bundesverband Windenergie (BWE), believes this year's market will be about the same size as the 1667 MW achieved in 2007. From 2009, it will start to grow again, according to BWE's Hermann Albers. "The revised renewable energy law and the planned new areas to be reserved for wind developments in Schleswig-Holstein, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will provide new impetus for wind development on land," he says. Replacement of old turbines with larger machines will also push up national wind generation, he believes: "Halving the number of turbines but doubling their capacity can lead to a trebling of output." Most German wind market growth so far this year has been in the inland states of Saxony-Anhalt, with 178 MW of new capacity, and Brandenburg with 169 MW. In Saxony-Anhalt, wind generation is now equivalent to 42% of net electricity consumption in the state, says the Deutsches Windenergie-Institute. The coastal state of Lower Saxony followed in third place with an addition of 155 MW. The average rated capacity of turbines installed during the first half of 2008 is 1.9 MW. The average capacity of turbines in the entire Germany wind fleet is 1.2 MW.
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