In the six months to the end of June 2012, 414 wind turbines totaling 1004 MW came online, a 26% rise on the same period the previous year.

Overall, 22,664 wind turbines totaling just over 30 GW were operating in Germany by the end of June.

“As the figures confirm, we are on the right track with onshore wind power,” says BWE President Hermann Albers.

“As a backbone for the energy transition, this could be a low-cost and efficient substitute for nuclear power. Yet for this to occur, we need to continue to have stable framework conditions.”

Thorsten Herdan, Managing Director of VDMA Power Systems, agrees.

“It is now we need to find answers to some of the most pressing questions concerning the creation of a future-oriented energy market and the role of wind energy,” he says.

“This is the only way to pave the way for a EEG 2.0 (Renewable Sources Act), which will enable the long-term expansion of the wind energy market.”

Just nine offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 45 MW came online in the six months to the end of June – a clear sign that the expansion of German offshore wind farms is still behind. However, three offshore wind farms are now under construction and by the end of the year, 2 GW of additional offshore projects – worth a total investment of around €7.5 billion – will have reached the construction phase, the BWE/VDMA survey report notes.

For a second wave of offshore projects to occur, which would produce an additional 6 GW, “the question of equity funding of the responsible grid operators still needs to be clarified, and the master plan for the offshore network implemented without delay,” Herdan adds.

He added: “The outlook for 2013 is bleak. While we are assuming that the European market will remain stable, the US market is likely to plummet. The Chinese market will remain stable but difficult due to enormous overcapacities of the local manufacturers.”

This story was first published in Renewable Energy Focus, Volume 13, Issue 4 (July/August 2012).