Germany’s new onshore wind-power capacity reached 290 MW in the first half of 2019, a 20-year low, plunging by 80% year-on-year.
The drop follows the country’s poor performance in 2018, when its new onshore capacity amounted to 3.5 GW, which is down by up to one third from the 5.3 GW in 2017, when 1,792 new onshore wind farms were built.
The main cause of the decline is the imposition of the capacity quota by the German government in 2017. The quota is currently set at 2.8 GW for 2019 and 2.9 GW for 2020. The capacity is set to be allocated via the country’s open biddings, along with the ratio for the new renewable-energy capacities, which includes PV power and wind power.
As of now, wind power is still facing a number of long-standing obstacles in Germany, including the lack of land and the opposition of the local residents and environmentalists in the country. Another factor behind the technology’s slow adoption in Germany is red tape; as a result of the government’s current rules and regulations, a number of projects in the country are still waiting for development approval. These projects are estimated to have a total capacity of around 11GW.
The downward trend of the country’s total installed capacity has begun to gradually overshadow its efforts to attain the goal for renewable energy and carbon abatement, especially in view of the upcoming wave of decommissioning for many existing wind turbines. Peter Altmaier, the federal minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, has pledged to find new solutions to stem the downward trend.
With its initiative to push its renewable energy since 2002, Germany has planned to boost the share of its green power to 65% by 2030, up from 38.2% now, thereby cutting the CO2 emission by 55% from the 1990 level. Last year, the country’s green power exceeded the 35.3% share of its coal-fueled thermal power, with wind power accounting for 20% of its green power.
To attain the 65% target for its green power, Germany will have to raise its 2030 target for offshore wind power by 5 GW to 20 GW, on top of the new 4 GW of onshore wind power capacity and 5 GW of new PV power capacity every year, according to the energy think tank Agora Energiewende.
(First photo courtesy of Thomas Kohler via Flickr CC BY 2.0)