Wind energy?s power gets extensive press coverage in Germany

An incredible 65% of Germany’s electricity needs can be met by onshore wind power alone, according to a new study published by the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES) and the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) this week.

The news, which also highlights that this can be achieved with wind power technology currently in use – 3 MW wind turbines – has hit headlines far and wide in the German national press.

Hermann Albers, President of the German Wind Energy Association, argues in the Handelsblatt that wind farm power could create the total amount of electricity needed to phase out nuclear power in Germany.

The story was quickly taken up by Die Welt under the headline “Wind Energy can easily replace nuclear power”. The Ausburger Allgemeine also started up a discussion on this theme.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung carried a story in which the wind energy industry, with its potential to replace nuclear power, said it was Europe’s ‘knight in shining armour’. Meanwhile, other media including national TV and radio reported Albers’ statement that wind energy can replace nuclear power.

The IWES/BWE study finds that if wind power was developed on all suitable land in Germany – around 2% of the surface area – it could generate 390 TWh (terawatt-hour) of electricity per year. Germany’s current electricity demand stands at 600 TWh per year. This shows that wind power’s potential easily outstrips nuclear power’s current electricity generation, which is around 140 TWh per year.

One other notable fact contained in the study is that wind power’s greatest untapped potential in Germany lies in the federal states with the lowest rate of wind power development, namely Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg.

By Zoë Casey,