Thanks to incentives, like subsidies and rebates, Germany’s wind energy contributions rose a whopping 66% in the first half of 2014. However, now that the 2000 Renewable Energy Act revisions took effect Aug. 1, wind energy is expected to slow dramatically for the rest of the year.
The state of Schleswig-Holstein saw the most growth, located in the North of Germany, and is considered the ‘wind power state’ from the strong current coming off its northern sea. Approximately 40% of the electricity consumed here is generated by wind energy; far above the average of 7.6% for all of Germany. A total of 159 wind turbines were built in the state in 2014 alone, which contributes 443MW of power.
Despite the success of the past 6 months, the country is expecting a sharp decrease of wind projects now that subsidies have been reduced by around 25%. Germany still has a lofty goal of reaching 80% of electricity generated from renewables by 2050. In efforts to meet this target, the country had installed more solar power capacity per capita than any other country in the world, by the end of 2012.
Bernard Chabot, a renewable energy consultant based in France said:
“Once again, it was demonstrated that a modern electricity system such as the German one can already accept large penetration rates of variable but predictable renewable energy sources such as wind and solar PV power.”
“In fact there are no technical and economic obstacles to go first to 20 percent of annual electricity demand penetration rate from a combination of those two technologies, then 50 percent and beyond by combining them with other renewables and energy efficiency measures and some progressive storage solutions at a modest level.”
Does Germany have what it takes to reach its renewable energy targets by 2050?