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A Look at Germany’s Wind Power Industry Development
From:Shenzhen TIG New Energy Technology Co.,LTD  Publish Date:2013-10-29 17:38:00  View:2290

     Germany is one of the largest wind power markets, with its windpower equipment manufacturing industry leading in the world. It led the world in annual increase of installed capacity before 2005. In recent years, its wind power industry develops rapidly. In 2012, it had 2439MW of new installed capacity and 31332MW of cumulative installed capacity, ranking the third after China and the US. All countries in the world are vigorously advocating the development of low-carbon economy. As a green new energy source, wind power is becoming the target of concern in the world. As leader of economy in the EU, Germany always values the development and utilization of new energy sources, especially wind power. Learning from its development experience and pattern has very important significance for China’s development of wind power industry.
     Distinctive Features in Wind Power Development Germany is the most successful country in wind power utilization. Since 1998 when it became the world’s largest wind power producer, it has kept a leading position no matter in new or total installed capacity of wind turbines. In recent years, the development of Germany’s wind power industry shows some new characteristics:
    First, wind turbine develops towards large-scale MW level. Newtypehigh-power wind turbines are replacing small-scale wind turbines rapidly. High-power wind turbines dominate the market with a share of more than 50%. In fact, Germany has stopped the production of smallscale wind turbines, and the power of commercial wind turbines in the market has reached 2500kW and 3600kW. ENERCON has successfully developed a new-type high-power wind turbine with 112m of rotor diameter and 4500kW of power. 5000kW turbines for offshore wind farms have been put into commercial operation as well.
     Second, wind power development shifts from coastal areas to inland areas and southern inland states. In the early stage, wind turbines in Germany were mostly installed in coastal areas with abundant wind resources, such as Niedersachsen, Schleswig Holstein, and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. With the promulgation of laws to promote wind power utilization, including wind power grid integration law and renewable energy law that ensure economic compensation for wind power production and transmission, inland areas and states saw the promising future of wind power development and started to set foot in this field. The focus of wind power generation in Germany has transferred from coastal areas to inland areas and states.
     Third, the majority of investors shift from individuals to enterprise associations and federations because the purchase of large-scale wind turbines requires huge investments and the large-scale wind power production program that the German government is promoting. Even hotels and sugar refineries in Germany are investing in wind power. Fourth, large-scale wind turbine manufacturers dominate the market. In recent years, with M&A and union, the number of wind turbine manufacturers has decreased significantly. There were 46 manufacturers before 2002, and their products were mainly sold in domestic market and partly exported. In 2002, almost 90% of wind turbines in the international market were from seven largest wind turbine manufacturers. Great Support to Offshore Wind Power by German Government The guidance of government policies should be accredited to first for Germany to become the main force in global green energy field. The German government creates favorable external conditions using economic leverage and legal means. To realize sustainable energy supply and protect national strategic security, Germany began to vigorously promote wind power development from the 1990s. In January 1991, the German government issued the Power Transmission Law, which is the first law to promote renewable energy utilization since Germany started wind power commercialization. In April 2000, the epochal Renewable Energy Law became effective in Germany.  

    According to the law, energy enterprises are obliged to promote renewable energy first and the government will offer subsidies to enterprises developing renewable energy. In August 2004, the revised Renewable Energy Law was issued. The primary goal of it is to increase the proportion of renewable energy in Germany’s power supply. The law provides that wind power generation shall account for 12.5% of total power generation by 2010, at least 20% by 2020, and 50% by 2050. The Renewable Energy Law was revised again in 2009. A major change is to increase the price of offshore wind power from 8.92 euro cent per kWh to 13-15 euro cent per kWh and lower it by 5% every year. The new Renewable Energy Law issued in 2012 effectively increased the room of profits for the wind power industry and promoted robust development of the wind power market. For offshore wind power development, the Renewable Energy Law will ensure offshore wind farms enjoy subsidies in 20 years from commissioning.

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