BWE: Wind Power Growth Rebounds in 2011

Wind power rebounded in Germany in 2011 after a weaker 2010, confirming forecasts, the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) and the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) said.

According to figures compiled by the German Wind Energy Institute (DEWI), in 2011 895 wind turbines (2010: 754) with a capacity of 2,007 MW (2010: 1,551 MW) were installed. The increase of 456 MW over 2010 translates into a growth of 30%. BWE pointed out that in line with European wind power statistics, growth will in the future be measured based on installations that are connected to the grid. For 2011 capacities connected to the grid amounted to 2,086 MW, compared with 1,493 MW previously. Hence growth based on these figures amounted to almost 40%, BWE said.

The positive figures were proof that the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) was functioning with regard to wind power BWE said (EEG solar tariffs have recently come again under criticism). The association pointed out that the replacement of older wind turbines (so-called repowering) by newer and more efficient ones is steadily increasing. In 2011 170 old turbines with an installed capacity of 123 MW were replaced by 95 new turbines with an installed capacity of 238 MW (2010: 183 MW), corresponding to an increase of 30%.

Offshore 108 MW were connected to the grid in 2011 in Germany (2010: 50 MW), leading to roughly 200 MW in total at year end. The managing director of VDMA Power Systems, Thorsten Herdan, stressed that the offshore wind power business was different from the onshore business as the construction of the large installations needed long-term planning. In 2012 10 offshore wind parks with a capacity of more than 2,000 MW and an order volume of approximately EUR 7 billion would be under construction he predicted. These wind farms and future farms needed planning certainty regarding grid connection, Mr Herdan pointed out. Wind power expansion in general required a remodeling of the German energy infrastructure, in particular with regard to the grids and storage capacities, he also said.

BWE president Hermann Albers stressed the fact that the southern states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Baveria were among the top five regarding capacity additions. Both states recently underpinned their intentions to expand onshore wind power by legislative acts (please see related posts below). Mr Albers believes the positive trend in these states (including Baden-Württemberg) to continue. Due to complex permitting procedures, the political changes would, however, take some time to translate into wind power growth, he said.

Source: BWE

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