Energy transition, renewable energies: Germany is no longer a pioneer in terms of climate. This is becoming more and more felt by the wind energy industry. The expansion is staggering, the problems for it all the more diverse.
The wind energy expansion crisis on land has intensified. According to an analysis of the Wind Energy Agency on land, only 148 wind turbines with a total output of 507 megawatts went online from January to the end of September 2019. This value has been achieved in the past five years, each in the first quarter. The previous year's new plant output this year is 82 percent below the average for the comparable periods between 2014 and 2018.
Most wind turbines – namely 36 – were put into operation in Lower Saxony in the first nine months, according to analysis, followed by North Rhine-Westphalia (21) and Brandenburg (19). In Bavaria, two new wind turbines were added. In contrast, there have been no new developments in Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg and Saarland so far this year.
Probably not even more than 1,000 megawatts of additional construction
Already in the first half of the year, the expansion of wind energy on land in Germany almost came to a standstill. Due to the development, it can be assumed that the total construction will not reach the threshold of 1000 megawatts by the end of the year, according to the specialist agency. In July, the German wind energy association had scaled down its forecast for the entire year to an additional 1,500 megawatts. In the years 2014 to 2017, according to industry information, the annual construction rate averaged 4600 megawatts.
The main reasons for the expansion crisis of wind power on land are long approval procedures and many lawsuits. After a "Wind Power Summit" at the beginning of September, Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier from the CDU announced that he and the Länder would work out a program of measures in the coming months to accelerate the sluggish expansion of onshore wind power. The aim is, for example, to make more space available for wind turbines and to accelerate approval procedures. In addition, the acceptance of wind farms is to be increased.
Plan: 1000 meters minimum distance
The coalition plans that no new wind turbines or new wind turbines will be built up to a minimum distance of 1000 meters to residential buildings , more efficient plants are to be exchanged. At present, there are varying degrees of severity in the countries. In addition, municipalities should benefit more financially from wind farms.
The environmental association WWF spoke of a collapse of wind energy expansion in Germany. This is devastating, said Michael Schäfer. "Instead of reducing existing hurdles for wind energy expansion, the German government has announced a new" climate package "with the distance regulation, a new one, and it must now refrain from these plans." According to Schäfer, the expansion of renewables is the cornerstone for climate protection not only in the electricity sector, but also in transport, heat and industry. "In addition, a sustainable industry is pushed to the abyss."
In the course of the energy transition, coal, gas and nuclear power should be replaced by renewable energy sources. By 2022, the last nuclear power plant will be shut down, by 2038, the coal exit is planned. The Federal Government's goal is to achieve a share of 65 percent in electricity consumption from renewable energy sources such as wind and sun in 2030. In the first half of 2019, the share according to figures of the energy association BDEW was 44 percent.