Germany adds 1,723 MW onshore wind energy capacity in H1

Germany is among world leaders such as China and the United States in installed wind power capacity.

At 3.45 billion euros ($4.63 billion), Germany’s investments in wind energy in 2013 accounted for 10.8 percent of total global spending on onshore wind turbines.

Germany added 1,723 megawatts (MW) of onshore wind power capacity in the first half of 2014, bringing the installed total at the end of June to 35,389 megawatts (MW), engineering association VDMA and wind industry group BWE said.

The two groups said in a statement that political uncertainty ahead of energy reform measures due to take effect on Aug.1 had accelerated growth in January through June, as investors tried to lock in existing conditions.

In addition, more land had become available for building wind turbines.

Now that reforms were close to being implemented, the year 2015 was unlikely to show similar growth, the two said.

The newly added capacity in the six months compared with 1,038 MW in first half 2013. In the full year of 2013, 2,998 MW had been added.

Total new additions in the twelve months of 2014 could perhaps range between 3,300 MW and 3,700 MW.

Germany earlier this month passed revamped legislation on funding renewable energy, clearing the way for the law to come into force in August.

One element of the package is to cap support for renewables without jeopardising the shift towards a low carbon economy, as the country aims to move away from nuclear-, gas- and coal-burning power stations, and instead focuses on green energy.

Wind power onshore was given a 2,500 MW a year annual capacity growth limit and operators will have to move towards marketing their output – rather than collecting subsidies regardless of demand – by 2017.

Feed-in tariffs paid to renewable power generators will be cut by a third by 2015.

Energy industry group BDEW said Germany’s wind turbines generated 31 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in January to June, 21.4 percent more than in the same 2013 period.