Tuesday, 23 March 2021
Statistics for 2020 from WindEurope showed that Wind accounted for 27% of Germany's electricity consumption while renewable energy in total accounted for over a 50% share of electricity generation. Germany has the biggest wind energy capacity in Europe with around 63 GW of onshore and offshore wind plants. Historically the country has been the leader in the expansion of onshore wind energy and WindEurope forecasts that the country will continue to hold this position from 2021-2025 with 16 GW of additional capacity but they mention that this can only happen if key policy issues are addressed.
The main theme behind the EEG 2021 is Germany's goal to become carbon neutral by 2050 driven by zero-emission electricity generation. The EEG2021 has addressed measures to expand the German wind industry including setting out clear targets for wind capacity to 2030 with substantial increases in the onshore wind energy tenders. The Act has added incentives to municipalities affected by wind farms and also stipulated some short-term funding solutions for post-subsidy wind plants. However, according to the letter, the problem of permitting and repowering in the country remains to be addressed and could be a potential threat to the onshore wind sector. While the Government is aware of this issue and pledged to address it on a legislative level by the first quarter of 2021, further steps have not been taken and with general elections planned to take place this year in September, there is a sense of urgency in the matter.
The letter laid out the following six specific measures that the German government is advised to take to revive the German onshore wind energy sector:
The letter concludes by iterating the importance of addressing the aforementioned issues as being key to maintaining Germany's "attractiveness for investments in the wind supply chain". Considering that wind energy plays such a critical role in the German supply mix, the authors state that this progress can only continue if the right policy framework is in place.
“If permitting does not improve, wind farm investors will get frustrated and turn their back on Germany. The solutions are simple. Some of the measures we propose only require Germany to implement the existing EU Renewable Energy Directive. These measures can unlock big volumes of new wind energy projects currently stuck in the permitting process”, said Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO.
Dickson concludes: “We’re asking the German Governments to take six simple measures which will unlock immediate investments, jobs, and growth. Each new wind turbine generates on average €10m of economic activity. Germany should embrace that..”