Windpower Monthly rating 3/5
Our rating is based on a combination of project pipeline, political and policy support, investor confidence and structural readiness of the country in terms of grid infrastructure, permitting process and local supply chain.
Forecast of installed and operating wind power capacity based on the latest statisitics and measured against the Windpower Intelligence database.
Onshore wind plays the dominant role in terms of generation of electricity from renewable sources in Germany. Over the years, however, political support for renewables diminished to a certain degree.
The current German Renewable Energy Act (EEG 2017) introduced the shift from feed-in tariffs to an auction model for onshore wind installations. There have been some teething problems with the auction system, which initially favoured small citizens projects despite lacking planning permits.
New coalition government is expected to raise the 2019-20 allocation for onshore wind installations from 5.7GW to 9.7GW, although an official announcement is yet to be made.
The rate of new installations is strong, despite the shift from feed-in tariffs to an auction model for onshore wind installations prompting price reductions and lower margins for investors. Initial problems with the auction system are being addressed but it has caused a significant slow down in project permitting.
Overall, Germany has a good and well developed grid infrastructure. Still, improvements in particular in the transmission grid infrastructure are necessary — particularly to clear the north-south bottleneck in central Germany — and respective legislation to facilitate an accelerated upgrading has been passed.
The lack of grid capacity in some areas may occasionally impair the continuous off-taking of the electricity generated. Overall, there are no serious limitations in obtaining grid connection for onshore greenfield projects.
When wind turbines approach the end of their design life, an assessment for lifetime extension determines whether a turbine is suitable for continued operation. Christian Schumacher and Florian Weber of certification body TÜV SÜD outline the process and how operators can prepare.
Students on a wind engineering master's course worked together to develop an impressive 12.5MW offshore turbine. Eize de Vries spoke to them and one of the professors about what makes their design different from current offerings.
An authoritative report from the German Fraunhofer Institute confirms that wind and solar are now cheaper than all other electricity-generating technologies. In Germany, the most productive solar plants are slightly cheaper than the most productive wind farms.
A German consortium has developed, tested and validated a self-aligning, lightweight, four-legged semi-submersible floating-platform concept that integrates the turbine tower. Eize de Vries highlights the technological innovations.
Managing director, FA Wind
Nordex has unveiled a new turbine with a rotor diameter above 150 metres, targeting sites "without strict noise requirements".
RWE has secured a €5 billion credit line as it prepares to take over E.on and Innogy's renewable energy and gas storage businesses.
German turbine manufacturer Nordex has increased its manufacturing output ahead of a busy second half of the year, after installations in Q1 halved compared with 2018.
Prices inched up as the total capacity of successful projects declined in Germany's latest, undersubscribed wind power tender.
E.on's planned takeover of Innogy is "right on schedule" with the necessary approvals expected later this year, despite an EC investigation into the deal.