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.
German technology developer Adion Technologies believes its medium-speed gear and toothed-belt hybrid gearbox concept for turbines up to 20MW will become a wind industry game changer. Eize de Vries finds out why.
Enercon's E-147 EP5 prototype will soon be ready for rollout, marking another significant step in the manufacturer's technology transition. Eize de Vries reports exclusively from Enercon's research and development centre in Aurich.
An open-air museum in Germany brings together a unique collection of more than 30 historic wind turbines built from the late 1970s until 1997, from one-off home experiments to some of the earliest models from major manufacturers.
Thyssenkrupp Rothe Erde's single momentum rotor bearings are incorporated in large-scale direct-drive and geared turbines, and they will soon enter the 10MW offshore range. Eize de Vries talks exclusively with senior engineers about the company's latest product and R&D advances, and visits its massive new outdoor rotor and pitch bearing test rig.
RWTH Aachen's Centre for Wind Power Drives is a world-renowned hub for groundbreaking research in wind energy. Eize de Vries talks to its co-founder, Georg Jacobs, and two PhD researchers about their work and what drives them.
Senvion's service contracts and the opportunities they present for forging future repowering deals are likely to be among the embattled manufacturer's most attractive assets as competitor Siemens Gamesa pursues a deal, according to a wind power industry analyst.
Senvion's demise has been on the cards for some time, but its collapse means the industry has lost a prominent technological pioneer in both the onshore and offshore sectors. Eize de Vries looks back on the company's impact on wind power development.
The European Commission (EC) has given final approval to the asset swap deal that paves the way for German utility RWE to hold a 9GW-plus renewables portfolio and E.on to grow its distribution and retail businesses.
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) is in talks to acquire "selected services and onshore assets" in Europe from rival manufacturer Senvion.
At a trade fair like Husum Wind 2019, every exhibitor has a story to tell. But with the German industry facing a cliff edge, could those stories and their innovations, start looking elsewhere?