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Germany

Germany

CLOSE TO A THOUSAND

German wind institute DEWI reports that in the first six months of the year installed wind capacity has increased by108%. The geographical spread of wind power is also changing. It is no longer only coastal areas that are busy installing wind.

After a good five years of breathtaking expansion, it looks as though wind energy in Germany will easily top 1000 MW of installed capacity by the end of the year. By mid 1995, 3027 turbines had been installed, totalling 836.708 MW of generating capacity.

German wind institute DEWI of Wilhelmshaven also reports that in the first six months of the year, 441 turbines had been commissioned -- a 48% increase in turbine numbers, compared with the same period last year. Measured in installed capacity, though, the increase to 204.282 MW is as much as 108% because of the rising popularity of larger turbines of 400 kW and more. In fact the average installed capacity per turbine reached 463.2 kW from January to June this year.

The geographical spread of wind turbines in German remains uneven. The two west German coastal Lander, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony, still have the most, while the long heralded, but considerably delayed market expansion in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in the east, is just beginning to take off. The state has been slow in throwing off the bureaucratic trappings of Communist rule, but now with the benefit of west German experience and the fact that larger turbines are now available, installed capacity should grow faster than has been the case in the rest of the country.

There is also much activity in the inland Lander of North Rhine Westfalia, Brandenburg, Hesse, Saxony and Rheinland Pfalz, active proof that harnessing wind energy is not confined to coastal areas.

Among wind companies, German Enercon remains the market leader. Since 1982 it has installed both more turbines and more megawatts than any other company. German competitor Tacke Windtechnik has now ousted Vestas from second place in terms of installed capacity. Vestas, now in third place, is followed by Micon, which has overtaken AN Maschinenbau, makers of AN Bonus turbines. In a determined drive during the first half of 1995, Micon has surged into pole position among foreign suppliers for the first six months of the year by installing 30.4 MW.

DEWI points out that the trend in larger companies securing a greater market share at the expense of smaller competitors continues. In the first half 1995, 88.5% of installed capacity and 82% of turbine were sold by just six companies -- Enercon, Tacke, Micon, Vestas, Nordtank and Nordex.

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