Wind in Germany

Installed capacity29.1GW

Production4.2Mtoe per year

Wind energy continues to be the most important renewable energy source in Germany in medium term. Within the German federal government, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) is in charge of renewable energy policy as well as of the funding of research for renewable energies.

The share of renewable energy sources in Germany’s gross electricity consumption rose significantly in 2012 to reach 22.9%. This represents an increase of nearly two and a half percentage points against the previous year (20.5%). At 136 billion kWh, electricity generation from solar, wind, hydro, and biomass was around 10% higher than in 2011. This upward trend was largely due to the sharp increase in electricity generation from photovoltaic systems. Biogas was another growth area, and generation from hydropower increased from the previous year due to high rainfall.

Relatively poor wind conditions led to a decline in electricity generation from wind (2012: 46 TWh; 2011: 48.9 TWh) despite of the fact that 2012 also saw a strong upward trend in the expansion of wind energy capacity, and 675 MWh were generated by offshore wind. Construction of new turbines added 2,440 MW, a clear increase from the previous year (2,007 MW). Repowering measures accounted for 541 MW, while installations with a capacity of 196 MW were dismantled, giving a net capacity in 2012 of 2,244 MW. At the end of the year total installed wind capacity in Germany was nearly 31,315 MW, of which 280 MW were offshore.