The onshore wind energy market in Germany has seen some turbulent years recently. PES finds out more from Cornelia von Zengen and Silke Lüers, Deutsche WindGuard…
The 2014 amendment of the Renewable Energy Law (EEG) implicated the most considerable change since its introduction in 2000, including a new definition of the reference yield model, direct marketing and the discontinuation of guaranteed feed-in tariffs and the repowering bonus. Now, in 2016 the next amendment of the EEG casts its shadows prior to competitive tendering, due to EU demands, and limitations on new installations looming on the horizon.
These changes in legislation have – among other factors – contributed to a higher pressure in the German Renewables market, resulting in record years for new onshore wind installations in a bid to get projects on the grid before regulatory conditions change. This article takes a look at wind energy development in Germany in the year 2015 and the implications for the German market.
Net and Gross Additions
Since 2012 Deutsche WindGuard, one of the leading service providers to the wind industry, has collected statistical data on onshore and offshore wind energy development in Germany on behalf of a number of German wind energy and industry associations. Every half year, the findings are published in the “Status on Wind Energy Development in Germany”. The data is determined by a combination of surveys with industry stake-holders and additional research.
In January 2016 WindGuard published the numbers for the year 2015. 2015 saw additions in the net capacity of 3 536 MW. The net additions already take into account the dismantling of 253 turbines with a capacity of 195 MW. Leaving those out of the equation, the gross addition amounts to 1 368 turbines with a capacity of 3 731 MW, including 176 repowering turbines with a cumulative capacity of 484 MW.If we take a look at the chart above (Figure 1), it is evident that 2015 was a very good year for wind energy development in terms of new installations. The year 2015 had the second largest gross additions since the beginning of commercial wind energy development in Germany. However, the gross additions in 2015 are about 1 019 MW below those of the previous year and thus decreased by about 21%. That being said: 2014 was the year with the largest onshore gross additions since the beginning of statistical data collection.