Stable upward trend in German wind market in 2013 – Production volume of manufacturers grown in 2012

The upward trend in newly installed capacity in the German wind  market remains stable over land for the first half of 2013. Offshore  wind energy is growing stronger starting at relatively low levels. This  is underscored by a recent manufacturer survey carried out by Deutsche  WindGuard on behalf of the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) and VDMA  Power Systems. 

Of a total of approximately 1,143 megawatts of newly installed capacity, about 1,038 megawatts were installed over land and 105 megawatts were installed offshore. The expansion of wind energy over land for the first half of 2013 roughly corresponds to last year’s level. This demonstrates that the expansion path is stable despite all skepticism.

BWE President Sylvia Pilarsky-Grosch: “Expansion over land for the first half of the year is 80 megawatts, or about eight percent above the figure for the same period in 2012. Our prediction for the expansion of wind energy over land for 2013 totaling 2,700-2,900 megawatts is confirmed with this value. Fortunately, this growth is stable considering the directionless political debates in spring regarding amendments to the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). While the general public and the industry are working hard to realize the energy transition, the federal government has yet to catch up. Politics and bureaucracy are still in the way of a rapid energy transition.”

Thorsten Herdan, Managing Director of VDMA Power Systems: “The positive figures for the first half of the year should not obscure the fact that the investment climate has deteriorated in Germany. After the elections, we will quickly need clarity on the political framework conditions. A tight-knit EEG 2.0 and an electricity market design 2.0 must be the priority objectives of the new government’s energy policy.”

Developments in offshore wind energy are still somewhat restrained: In the first half of 2013, only 21 offshore wind turbines with 105 megawatts capacity were connected to the German power grid – in the whole of Europe it was 1,045 megawatts. However, prospects for stronger growth in offshore wind energy are improving: In 2012, over 109 foundations were laid, and already another 155 in the first half of this year alone. With an average of four megawatts per foundation, this results in about 1,000 megawatts after installation and grid connection of the turbines. 38 turbines totaling nearly 200 megawatts were installed but not yet connected in the first half of the year. Some of these, and others that are going to be installed in the second half of the year, will be connected this year to start feeding into the grid. Overall, about 200 megawatts are expected for 2013 and over 1,000 megawatts for 2014 and 2015.

Thorsten Herdan: “These figures show that offshore wind energy projects with a total of nearly 2,000 megawatts are currently being realized. However, a clear signal from the federal government is required as soon as possible to finally gain planning security for investors in the second construction phase for another 5,000 megawatts. Otherwise, there will be no further investments made for new projects until 2015.” Sylvia Pilarsky-Grosch: “Wind energy expansion has been proceeding continuously and as planned for years. Politicians could always rely on our forecasts. Therefore, the industry also expects reliability from the next federal government.”

The investment volume in wind turbines that were installed on land in Germany in 2012 was about 2.6 billion euros. For offshore wind turbines, it was 120 million euros. The sum of 2.7 billion euros is approximately six percent of the world market.

In 2012, the production volume of wind turbine manufacturers in Germany, including the world market and the domestic market, grew from about 6 billion euros to about 6.3 billion euros. Here, the global market share is 15 percent, of which 5.8 billion euros were spent on the production of onshore wind turbines and about 0.5 billion euros for offshore turbines. The export rate increased slightly from 66 percent to 67 percent. Sylvia Pilarsky-Grosch: “Wind energy is a reliable driver of economic growth even during the crisis.” Thorsten Herdan sums up: “The German wind energy industry with its cutting-edge technology is very well equipped for international competition. After a difficult year 2013, with approximately 39,000 megawatts of installed capacity, the world market will pick up again in 2014 to about 43,000-45,000 megawatts. We are certain that the German industry will be able to retain its leading role with high-quality wind energy developments.”

Main figures at a glance: German wind energy industry 2012
Production volume of wind turbine manufacturers: 6.34 bn euros (2011: 5.96 bn euros)
Export quota of wind turbine manufacturers: 67 percent (2011: 66 percent)
Investments in wind turbines in Germany: 2.7 bn euros (2011: 2.2 bn euros)
Investments in onshore wind turbines in Germany: 2.6 bn euros
Investment in offshore wind turbines in Germany: 120 million euros

Domestic market 1st half-year 2013
New onshore wind energy capacities: 1,038 MW (1st half-year 2012: 959)
New offshore wind energy capacities: 105 MW (1st half-year 2012: 45)
Total newly installed wind energy capacity in Germany: 1.143 MW (1st half-year 2012: 1004)
Total wind energy capacity in Germany on 6/30/2013: 32,422 MW (6/30/2012: 30,016 MW)

Source: German Wind Energy Association (BWE), August 29th, 2013