Welcome to IEA Wind Member Country Activities for Germany
Wind energy continues to be the most important renewable energy source in Germany in medium term. Within the German federal government, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) is in charge of renewable energy policy as well as of the funding of research for renewable energies.
The share of renewable energy sources in Germany's gross electricity consumption rose significantly in 2012 to reach 22.9%. This represents an increase of nearly two and a half percentage points against the previous year (20.5%). At 136 billion kWh, electricity generation from solar, wind, hydro, and biomass was around 10% higher than in 2011. This upward trend was largely due to the sharp increase in electricity generation from photovoltaic systems. Biogas was another growth area, and generation from hydropower increased from the previous year due to high rainfall.
Relatively poor wind conditions led to a decline in electricity generation from wind (2012: 46 TWh; 2011: 48.9 TWh) despite of the fact that 2012 also saw a strong upward trend in the expansion of wind energy capacity, and 675 MWh were generated by offshore wind. Construction of new turbines added 2,440 MW, a clear increase from the previous year (2,007 MW). Repowering measures accounted for 541 MW, while installations with a capacity of 196 MW were dismantled, giving a net capacity in 2012 of 2,244 MW. At the end of the year total installed wind capacity in Germany was nearly 31,315 MW, of which 280 MW were offshore (1).
Nevertheless, with a share of 7.7% (2011: 8.1%) wind energy maintained a strong position as the main source of renewable electricity. The share of offshore wind energy remained still low in 2012, at 1.5% of total wind power generation. Even so, the offshore generation was around 19% more than in the previous year (1).
In 2012, a breakthrough took place in offshore installations. At the end of 2012, six wind farms with 350 wind turbines and a total capacity of 1,700 MW were under construction in the German Exclusive Economical Zone (EEZ) of the North Sea (2). Including the wind farms projects starting construction in 2013 and 2014, a total offshore capacity of about 3,000 MW will be installed in 2015 (3).
The use of wind energy has avoided 35.8 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 (3).
An important issue that will further influence wind energy development and grid technology during the next ten years is the federal government’s decision to phase out completely nuclear energy production by 2022. Read the entire report here.