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Wind power in Germany

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Title: Wind power in Germany  
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Subject: Electricity sector in Germany, Renewable energy in Germany, Wind power in the European Union, World energy consumption, Renewable energy
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Wind power in Germany

Erection of an Enercon E70-4 in Germany

Wind power in Germany describes wind power in Germany as part of energy in Germany and renewable energy in Germany. In 2011, the installed capacity of wind power in Germany was 29,075 megawatts (MW), with wind power producing about 7.7 percent of Germany’s total electrical power.[1] According to EWEA in a normal wind year, installed wind capacity in Germany will meet 10.6% at end 2011 and 9.3% at end 2010 of the German electricity needs.[2][3]

More than 21,607 wind turbines are located in the German federal area and the country has plans to build more wind turbines.[4][5] As of 2011, Germany's federal government is working on a new plan for increasing renewable energy commercialization,[6] with a particular focus on offshore wind farms.[7] A major challenge will be the development of sufficient network capacities for transmitting the power generated in the North Sea to the large industrial consumers in southern Germany.[8]


As of 2010, Wind power in Germany provides over 96,100 people with jobs and German wind energy systems are also exported.[4][9] The Fuhrländer Wind Turbine Laasow, built in 2006 near the village of Laasow, Brandenburg, is the tallest wind turbine in the world.

In Germany, hundreds of thousands of people have invested in citizens' wind farms across the country and thousands of small and medium sized enterprises are running successful businesses in a new sector that in 2008 employed 90,000 people and generated 8 percent of Germany's electricity.[10] Wind power has gained very high social acceptance in Germany.[11]


Repowering, the replacement of first-generation wind turbines with modern multi-megawatt machines, is occurring in Germany. Modern turbines make better use of available wind energy and so more wind power can come from the same area of land. Modern turbines also offer much better grid integration since they use a connection method similar to conventional power plants.[12][13]

Offshore wind power

Offshore wind farms in the German Bight

Offshore wind energy also has great potential in Germany.[14] Wind speed at sea is 70 to 100% higher than onshore and much more constant. A new generation of 5 MW or larger wind turbines which are capable of making full use of the potential of wind power at sea has already been developed and prototypes are available. This makes it possible to operate offshore wind farms in a cost-effective way once the usual initial difficulties of new technologies have been overcome.[15]

On 15 July 2009, the first offshore German windturbine completed construction. This turbine is the first of a total of 12 wind turbines for the alpha ventus offshore wind farm in the North Sea.[16]

Following the 2011 Japanese nuclear accidents, Germany's federal government is working on a new plan for increasing renewable energy commercialization, with a particular focus on offshore wind farms.[17] Under the plan large wind turbines will be erected far away from the coastlines, where the wind blows more consistently than it does on land, and where the enormous turbines won't bother the inhabitants. The plan aims to decrease Germany's dependence on energy derived from coal and nuclear power plants.[7] The German government wants to see 7.6 GW installed by 2020 and as much as 26 GW by 2030.[18]

A major challenge will be the lack of sufficient network capacities for transmitting the power generated in the North Sea to the large industrial consumers in southern Germany.[8]

Energy transition

The 2010 "Energiewende" policy has been embraced by the German federal government and has resulted in a huge expansion of renewables, particularly wind power. Germany's share of renewables has increased from around 5% in 1999 to 17% in 2010, reaching close to the OECD average of 18% usage of renewables.[19] Producers have been guaranteed a fixed feed-in tariff for 20 years, guaranteeing a fixed income. Energy co-operatives have been created, and efforts were made to decentralize control and profits. The large energy companies have a disproportionately small share of the renewables market. Nuclear power plants were closed, and the existing 9 plants will close earlier than necessary, in 2022.

The reduction of reliance on nuclear plants has so far had the consequence of increased reliance on fossil fuels and on electricity imports from France. One factor that has inhibited efficient employment of new renewable energy has been the lack of an accompanying investment in power infrastructure to bring the power to market.[19]

Different Länder have varying attitudes to the construction of new power lines. Industry has had their rates frozen and so the increased costs of the Energiewende have been passed on to consumers, who have had rising electricity bills. Germans in 2013 had some of the highest electricity costs in Europe.[20]


Wind Power in Germany 1990-2011: Installed capacity (MW) in red and average power generated (MW) in blue.

Installed wind power capacity and generation in recent years is shown in the table below:[21][22]

Year 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Installed Capacity (MW) 55 106 174 326 618 1,121 1,549 2,089 2,877 4,435
Generation (GW·h) 71 100 275 600 909 1,500 2,032 2,966 4,489 5,528
% of electricity use 0.01 0.02 0.05 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.8 1.0
Year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Installed Capacity (MW) 6,097 8,750 11,989 14,604 16,623 18,390 20,579 22,194 23,826 25,703
Generation (GW·h) 7,550 10,509 15,786 18,713 25,509 27,229 30,710 39,713 40,574 38,639
% of electricity use 1.3 1.8 2.7 3.1 4.2 4.4 5.0 6.4 6.6 6.7
Year 2010 2011 2012 2013
Installed Capacity (MW) 27,191 29,075 31,332 34,633
Generation (GW·h) 37,793 48,883 50,670 53,400
% of electricity use 6.2 8.0 8.4

Offshore only:

Year 2009 2010 2011 2012
Installed Capacity (MW) 12 72 200 280
Generation (GW·h) 38 174 568 722
% of Wind Gen. 0.1 0.5 1.2 1.4


Map of German wind farms

In Saxony-Anhalt 48.11% of electricity was produced with wind power in 2011.[23]

Share of the potential annual energy yield of the net electrical energy consumption in 2011:

State No. Turbines Installed Capacity [MW] Share in the net electrical energy
consumption [%]
 Saxony-Anhalt 2,352 3,642.31 48.11
 Brandenburg 3,053 4,600.51 47.65
 Schleswig-Holstein 2,705 3,271.19 46.46
 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 1,385 1,627.30 46.09
 Lower Saxony 5,501 7,039.42 24.95
 Thuringia 601 801.33 12.0
 Rhineland-Palatinate 1,177 1,662.63 9.4
 Saxony 838 975.82 8.0
 Bremen 73 140.86 4.7
 North Rhine-Westphalia 2,881 3,070.86 3.9
 Hesse 665 687.11 2.8
 Saarland 89 127.00 2.5
 Bavaria 486 683.60 1.3
 Baden-Württemberg 378 486.38 0.9
 Hamburg 60 53.40 0.7
 Berlin 1 2.00 0.0
offshore North Sea 31 155.00
offshore Baltic Sea 21 48.30
Germany Total 22,297 29,075.02 9.9

See also


  1. ^  
  2. ^ Wind in power 2011 European statistics EWEA February 2012, pages 4 and 11
  3. ^ Wind in power 2010 European statistics EWEA February 2011, page 11
  4. ^ a b "Wind energy in Germany". 
  5. ^ "72,6 Gigawatts Worldwide" (PDF). Wind Energy Barometer. February 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2007. 
  6. ^ "100% renewable electricity supply by 2050".  
  7. ^ a b Schultz, Stefan (23 March 2011). "Will Nuke Phase-Out Make Offshore Farms Attractive?".  
  8. ^ a b The Wall Street Journal Online, 24 April 2012
  9. ^ "General Information - Wind Energy".  
  10. ^ "Community Power Empowers". 26 May 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  11. ^ Community Wind Farms
  12. ^ Hochstätter, Matthias; Paulsen, Thorsten; Grotz, Claudia (May 2006). "A clean issue -- Wind energy in germany" (PDF). BWE-Bundesverband Windenergie. p. 18. 
  13. ^ Fairley, Peter (19 January 2009). "Europe Replaces Old Wind Farms".  
  14. ^ Rehfeldt, Dr. Knud (January 2007). "Offshore wind power deployment in Germany" (PDF).  
  15. ^ Kuhbier, Jörg (22 February 2007). "Offshore Wind Power in Germany" (PDF).  
  16. ^ Alpha Ventus
  17. ^ Dohmen, Frank; Jung, Alexander (27 April 2011). "Why Germany's Offshore Wind Parks Have Stalled".  
  18. ^ Dohmen, Frank; Jung, Alexander (30 December 2011). "Stress on the High Seas: Germany's Wind Power Revolution in the Doldrums". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  19. ^ a b "Germany’s energy transformation Energiewende". The Economist. Jul 28, 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  20. ^ "Germany’s energy reform Troubled turn". The Economist. 9 Feb 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  21. ^ Böhme, Dieter (20 February 2012). "Zeitreihen zur Entwicklung der erneuerbaren Energien in Deutschland" [Time series on the development of renewable energies in Germany] (PDF) (in German).  
  22. ^ Böhme, Dieter (July 2013). "Erneuerbare Energien in Zahlen - Nationale und internationale Entwicklung" [Renewable energy in numbers - National and international development] (PDF) (in German).  
  23. ^ "Status der Windenergienutzung in Deutschland 31.12.2011 DEWI" [Status of wind energy in Germany 31.12.2011 DEWI] (PDF) (in German). DEWI-Deutsches Windenergie-Institut. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 

External links

  • Germany Inaugurates 5 MW Wind Turbine Prototype
  • 5-MW BARD Near-shore Wind Turbine Erected in Germany
  • Deutsche Energie-Agentur (Dena), German Energy Agency
  • Official site about wind power and renewable Energy in the Emscher-Lippe-Region
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