Germany

Germany

German growth goes on and on -- Predicting 2000 MW

Dynamic growth in Germany's wind energy market is expected to continue. According to the BWE, the sector is celebrating "a decade of the minimum price system for wind generated electricity, ten years of wind expansion and a ten million tonne reduction in CO2 emissions thanks to wind." With 1670 MW of newly installed wind plant in 2000, Germany's wind power generating capacity reached 6113 MW. But the wind sector must still mastermind massive expansion to achieve the European Wind Energy Association's target for Germany of 22,000 MW by 2010, part of its overall target of 60,000 MW in Europe by that date.

With 1670 MW of newly installed wind plant in 2000, bringing Germany's wind power generating capacity to 6113 MW, the sector is celebrating "a decade of the minimum price system for wind generated electricity, ten years of wind expansion and a ten million tonne reduction in CO2 emissions thanks to wind," according to Peter Ahmels, president of wind energy association Bundesverband Windenergie (BWE). His words were greeted in an atmosphere of euphoria and confidence by the 250 guests at BWE's new year reception in Berlin.

The dynamic growth is expected to continue. Manufacturers responding to a BWE survey on the outlook for 2001 all predicted even greater sales in 2001, says BWE's Christian Hinsch of the wind lobby organisation. He anticipates 1800 MW of additional wind capacity this year. "We expect about 2000 MW to be installed in 2001," predicts Ralf Breuer of NEG Micon Deutschland. His company installed 167 MW last year and expects to increase this to about 300 MW this year.

But the wind sector must still mastermind massive expansion to achieve the European Wind Energy Association's target for Germany of 22,000 MW by 2010, part of its overall target of 60,000 MW in Europe by that date. "We have a three-pronged approach," says Hinsch. Offshore developments should add at least 5000 MW by 2010; repowering of small turbines with bigger units will begin on a major scale as sites run out in the windiest Länder; and potential along the Baltic Coast of Schleswig-Holstein and in several inland areas, especially in the east and south (where winds are lower), have yet to be exploited.

Once repowering starts, older wind stations built at locations outside areas later prioritised for wind energy will not be redeveloped, says Hinsch. But other sites with the early 100 kW and 250 kW turbines may be repowered with turbines ten times those sizes. Turbine size is still growing, with the average size of newly installed units in 2000 being 1.1 MW, compared with 0.94 MW in 1999 and 0.46 MW in 1995.

Room at the coast

Despite observations from developers that available sites in Germany's coastal regions are "filling up," the busiest province last year was Lower Saxony, with about 300 kilometres of coastline. It added 543 MW of new wind power, bringing its combined capacity to 1668 MW in 2000, 158 MW more than was installed in the state in 1999. The inland state of North Rhine Westphalia followed with 240 MW, well over twice the capacity installed in 1999. Schleswig-Holstein, with both North Sea and Baltic Sea coastlines, added 200 MW in 2000, down from 226 MW in 1999. The only other Land with a coast line, Mecklenburg, bordering the Baltic Sea, added 101 MW, down from its 140 MW in 1999.

Aside from North Rhine Westphalia, no other inland state boosted its performance measurably in 2000. On the contrary, Brandenburg's shining performance in 1999 of 215 MW dulled to 85 MW in 2000. Hinsch attributes this in part to the unenthusiastic efforts of grid operator E.dis Energie Nord, to connect wind stations to its grid in both Brandenburg and Mecklenburg. "There are many projects in the pipeline waiting for a grid connection permit," he says.

Market leaders

Enercon took centre stage again in newly installed capacity in 2000, expanding its market share by nearly 2% to 27.4%. It was followed by Enron Wind which overtook both Vestas Deutschland and Nordex/Südwind, now combined in Borsig Energy. AN Windenergie with 11.1% of the market crept past NEG Micon at 10.9%. In number of turbines installed, the order of manufacturers remained unchanged between 1999 and 2000. A total of 1496 wind turbines went up in Germany last year, compared with 1674 in 1999.

Germany's wind turbine manufacturers not only achieved more sales at home, they also substantially boosted their exports, selling 484 turbines (335.83 MW) to 18 countries compared with 356 turbines (178.26 MW), also in 18 countries, in 1999, though the countries were not identical over the two years. Nordex sales to Denmark (47 MW) led the way last year, followed by sales of between 23-34 MW each to Portugal, Egypt, Spain, Italy, Austria, India and China. Other significant takers of German wind turbines were Sweden, France, Australia, the US, Japan and Turkey, each of which bought between 10-20 MW.

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