Expansion of wind turbines in Germany is faltering

Expansion of wind turbines in Germany is faltering

Wind turbines in North Rhine-Westphalia

More green electricity is a key element in achieving climate targets.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin The expansion of wind turbines on land is in Germany not moving properly. According to preliminary industry figures, there was a 5.5 percent increase in new commissioning between January and September compared to the same period last year. From the point of view of the German Wind Energy Association, however, far larger increases are necessary in order to achieve expansion targets.

The number of newly approved wind turbines in the first three quarters fell by 16.2 percent. “Since the permits represent the future expansion, this situation is worrying,” the association commented. President Hermann Albers told the German Press Agency that 10,000 megawatts of finished projects are with the approval authorities. “In order to complete the procedures by the end of the year, you need a turbocharged decision-making process. To do this, the federal states must now enforce the immediate implementation of the outstanding public interest in the Renewable Energy Sources Act in the authorities.”

More green electricity plays a central role in the federal government’s strategy to achieve climate goals and become less dependent on fossil fuels such as Russian gas. The federal government had decided on comprehensive measures for a faster expansion of renewable energies. This includes a legal obligation to ensure that the federal states provide more space.

Since the beginning of the year, the north-south divide has increased further, according to the German Wind Energy Association, referring to a survey by the Onshore Wind Energy Agency.

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A total of 365 wind turbines with a capacity of 1575 megawatts were put into operation between January and September – most with 92 in Schleswig-Holstein, followed by North Rhine-Westphalia (68), Brandenburg (65) and Lower Saxony (62).

524 plants newly approved

Apart from the city states, the last three places were occupied by Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse and Saxony with only 5 new plants each and Saarland with 2 commissionings. As of September 30, around 28,000 systems with a total output of around 57,000 megawatts were connected to the grid nationwide.

A total of 524 wind turbines with a total output of around 2750 megawatts were newly approved from January to September. Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein accounted for most of the new permits, with the exception of the city states of Saxony, Bavaria and Saarland bringing up the rear. “The countries, which have been weakening for years in terms of both installed capacity and new construction, will clearly not unleash enough new construction in the coming years to compensate for the imbalance between North and South,” says the association.

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