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.
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.
This huge spaceship-looking contraption will be testing the next generation of wind-turbine bearings as manufacturers press on into double-digit capacities and ever-growing loads
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.
US-based blade manufacturer TPI Composites has acquired a team of engineers from Euros Group, which is owned by cash-strapped turbine manufacturer Senvion.
Simon-Hermann Wobben has resigned from his post as co-managing director at Enercon after almost three years in the role.
Beleaguered turbine manufacturer Senvion is in the midst of a recovery, with the backlog of orders now clearing, freeing up revenue. But with new orders drying up during its self-imposed insolvency proceedings, the company is not out of the woods yet. So what does the future hold for the company? Windpower Monthly takes a look at the options.
The troubled German turbine maker installed 546MW of new turbines in the first half of the year, up from 289MW a year ago when stalled project execution was hampering finances.
Old power stations could be given a second life by using excess wind power to heat volcanic rocks. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) is trialling the technology in Germany.