While offshore wind turbines with a combined capacity of 219 megawatts were newly installed in Germany in 2020, new installations in 2019 accounted for 1,223 megawatts. Although there was a slight increase in the expansion of onshore wind power compared to the previous year, the overall pace of wind power development is slowing. Germany is no longer in the lead position for a variety of reasons, as shown in a new infographic from Wette.de.
Between 1997 and 2007, Germany was the country with the world’s largest number of installed wind turbines. This is no longer the case: while China now has 288,320 megawatts of wind power connected to the grid, the figure for Germany is 62,850 megawatts. Admittedly, if we consider this figure in relation to population, a markedly different picture emerges, and yet, according to numerous market observers, numerous counterproductive decisions have been made in recent years that have damaged Germany as a site for wind power.
This trend is taking its toll: whereas the wind power industry in Germany employed 160,200 people in 2016, it now only employs around 100,000, as shown in the infographic. Business is increasingly shifting abroad, and those still producing in the Federal Republic are increasingly exporting to countries such as England, Taiwan or the Netherlands.
Problems with Wind Power Expansion
Players in the wind power sector emphasise that the back and forth of political guidelines has harmed the industry. The “not in my backyard” mentality has also contributed to this: the attitude of many citizens is “yes to wind power, just not in my neighbourhood.”
240 wind turbines have been built in Germany so far in 2021. By comparison, 1,792 new turbines were built in 2017 – and while the pace of expansion in Germany is slowing down, China is stepping on the gas.
Whilst complaints from neighbours and other actors may well be playing a role in the sluggish expansion of onshore wind power, this only applies to a limited extent to offshore wind farms – and it is precisely in this area that Germany’s pace of expansion has recently slowed drastically.
Bild von FelixMittermeier auf Pixabay