Home market shrinks in 2007

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Germany's wind industry installed 25% less new capacity at home in 2007 than in 2006, in stark contrast to the 30% increase in global wind capacity in the same period. A combined 1667 MW of wind capacity was installed in Germany last year compared with 2233 MW in 2006. Cumulative capacity by end-2007 stood at 22,247 MW from 19,460 wind turbines. Despite the slowdown in growth rates, wind generation reached a record 39.5 TWh -- equivalent to 7.2% of Germany's electricity consumption and up from 30.6 TWh in 2006. Inward investment in new German wind plant was down to EUR 1.7 billion from EUR 2.3 billion in the previous year. "Investment is flowing to countries with more favourable framework conditions," warns Torsten Herdan of engineering lobby federation VDMA Power Systems. The lobby calls for the ongoing revision of Germany's renewable energy law (Windpower Monthly, January 2007) to be done with "foresight." Amendments to the law will to take effect at the start of 2009. On the bright side, Germany's wind export business is booming. Sales of turbines, components and other wind-related equipment to markets worldwide are expected to total some EUR 7.4 billion, up from EUR 5.6 billion in 2006. This is around one-third of the global wind industry's turnover, which was well over EUR 20 billion, says Herdan.

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