German renewables law forces 1H installation push

GERMANY: Germany installed 650 new turbines with a total capacity of 1,723MW onshore in the first 6 months of 2014, 66% more than the 1,038 MW installed in the previous year.

Wind turbine installation has increased 66% in Germany
Wind turbine installation has increased 66% in Germany

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This raised overall capacity to 35,389MW, supplied by 24,193 turbines, by the end of June 2014.

The strong growth is attributed to a rush to get projects completed before a change in the renewable energy act results in lower support for wind generation.

The law will come in from 1 August, along with another allowing federal states to each set new minimum distances between wind turbines and housing, according to the federal wind energy association BWE (Bundesverband Windenergie).

New onshore installations in the whole of 2014 are expected to add up to 3.3-3.7GW raising Germany' onshore wind fleet to 26,000 turbines totalling around 37GW. "Onshore wind in 2015 is not expected to be so dynamic," warned BWE President Hermann Albers.

The goal for the next few years is a reliable, stable growth level, the organisation added, pointing to the government target of a net growth corridor of 2.5GW per year, plus dismantled capacity in repowering projects.

In the first half of 2014, at least 260MW of new capacity replaced old turbines that were decommissioned in repowering projects, compared with at least 64MW that were dismantled as part of a repowering in the first 6 months of 2013. The data researched and supplied by Deutsche Windguard for BWE and the Power Systems division of German engineering federation VDMA.

The German Federal Association of Energy and Water (BDEW) has also released figures that show renewable energies are expected to cover 28.5% of electricity consumption in the first half of 2014. In 2013, renewables covered 24.6%.

According to the survey, wind turbines produced 31 million MWh of electricity in the first six months of 2014 – 21.4% higher than the same period last year.

The increase in percentage is being put down to the greater number of renewable energy sources in Germany, and the milder weather.

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