Welcome to IEA Wind Member Country Activities for Germany 2011
Wind energy continues to be the most important renewable energy source in Germany in the medium term. The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) is in charge of renewable energy policy and of the funding policy of research on renewable energies within the German federal government.
At the end of 2011, Germany had 22,297 wind turbines (2010: 21,572) installed, with a total capacity of 29,075 MW (2010: 27,191 MW). The new capacity installed in 2011 was 2,007 MW (2010: 1,551 MW) (1).
By the close of the German offshore market’s third year, a total capacity of 215 MW (55 wind turbines) were installed in the Baltic 1 (Baltic Sea, opening photo), BARD Offshore 1 (North Sea), and alpha ventus (North Sea) offshore wind farms. Thirty three of these wind turbines have been connected to the grid in December 2011(108 MW). But only six wind turbines were newly installed in the sea in 2011.
Even though this seems to be a reduction of the offshore growth, many projects are contracted or in preparation. Four offshore wind farms will start installation at sea in 2012. Thirty offshore wind farm projects have received permission by the federal authorities since 2000. Companies are expanding their production of offshore wind turbines, offshore foundations, and their capacity for offshore logistics and construction processes. The offshore expansion is supported by a 5 billion EUR (6.5 billion USD) credit program of the government-owned bank “KfW Bankengruppe” (Kfw). The working group “Acceleration of Grid connection of OffshoreWind Farms,” initiated by the federal government, developed measures for the improvement of this process in 2012.
Onshore, there was a remarkable extension of the wind energy capacity also in some of the German states far from the coast such as Rheinland-Palatinate and Bavaria.
According to plans of the federal government, half of German electricity consumption shall be produced by wind in 2050. Repowering (exchange of older wind turbines by new turbines with higher capacity) shall extend the onshore capacity. In 2011, 270 wind turbines (123 MW) were removed and replaced by 96 new wind turbines (238 MW).
Construction of the first German offshore wind farm, the alpha ventus test site, began in 2009. It became operational in April 2010. In 2011, the wind farm consortium DOTI reported 4,450 full load hours and a technical availability of up to 97%. The accompanying research initiative at alpha ventus, RAVE, is funded by the BMU with about 52 million EUR (67 million USD). After completion of the installation of all measuring equipment and sensors at foundations and turbines, RAVE started its practical data acquisitions from the alpha ventus test site. Researchers used the data in 2011 to validate numerical models and study the performance of the wind farm in operation.
An important issue that will influence wind energy development and the entire grid technology during the next ten years is the federal government’s decision to step away completely from nuclear energy production by 2022.