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WindEurope: 'Collapsing' German onshore wind development putting EU renewables targets at risk

Trade body warns the powerhouse of the European wind energy market is in 'deep trouble'. Germany could put the EU's renewables targets at risk thanks to a "collapse" in onshore wind farm development.

Trade body warns the powerhouse of the European wind energy market is in 'deep trouble'

Germany, for so long the driving force for Europe's renewables market, could put the EU's renewables targets at risk thanks to a "collapse" in onshore wind farm development.

That is the stark warning today from trade body WindEurope, which argued a drastic slowdown in new project development means the current rate of onshore wind deployment is "well below" what is needed to meet both Germany's own target to source 65 per cent of its power from renewables by 2030 and its share of the EU's 32 per cent target.

The German government is pursuing plans to accelerate the development of its offshore wind industry, but WindEurope warned current plans to install 730MW of offshore wind capacity through to 2030 would not fill the gap created by the slowdown in onshore wind development.

Germany installed just 134 MW of new onshore wind farms in the first quarter of 2019, the group said, marking the country's worst first quarter for onshore installations since 2000.

"Germany is likely to install a total of just 1-2GW of onshore wind this year,"... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Trade body warns the powerhouse of the European wind energy market is in 'deep trouble'

Germany, for so long the driving force for Europe's renewables market, could put the EU's renewables targets at risk thanks to a "collapse" in onshore wind farm development.

That is the stark warning today from trade body WindEurope, which argued a drastic slowdown in new project development means the current rate of onshore wind deployment is "well below" what is needed to meet both Germany's own target to source 65 per cent of its power from renewables by 2030 and its share of the EU's 32 per cent target.

The German government is pursuing plans to accelerate the development of its offshore wind industry, but WindEurope warned current plans to install 730MW of offshore wind capacity through to 2030 would not fill the gap created by the slowdown in onshore wind development.

Germany installed just 134 MW of new onshore wind farms in the first quarter of 2019, the group said, marking the country's worst first quarter for onshore installations since 2000.

"Germany is likely to install a total of just 1-2GW of onshore wind this year," WindEurope said. "This is significantly down on the past five years when Germany installed an average of 4.3GW per year." 

The slowdown is partly blamed on the results of the country's 2017 clean energy auctions, which saw contracts awarded to a lot of community projects that lacked development permits.

Many of the projects are still expected to be built after more generous realisation timelines were granted.

But WindEurope said permitting for new wind farms remained an "underlying problem" for the market.

"The process used to take just 10 months but is now taking over two years," it said. "Public authorities are not applying deadlines and many wind farm projects are getting stuck in legal disputes. Plus there is a lack of staff to process the applications, especially at Bundesland level. Just 400MW of new wind farm permits were awarded in Q1 2019, well below historical levels. All this has meant the last three onshore wind auction rounds were undersubscribed leading to rising prices."

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said urgent action was now required to revive the market and ensure it plays a full role in delivering on Germany's renewables and emissions targets.

"Onshore wind energy in Germany is in deep trouble," he warned. "The development of new wind farms has almost ground to a halt. The main problem is permitting - it's got much slower, more complex and there aren't enough civil servants to process the applications. It seriously undermines Germany's ability to meet its 2030 renewables target and contribute to the EU target. And it's affecting Germany's wind turbine industrial base. Half of Europe's 300,000 wind energy jobs are in Germany. But 10,000 have gone in Germany in the last five years. And this could get worse: there hasn't been a single turbine order recorded in Germany in Q1 this year."

He insisted urgent policy moves could help tackle the problem. "The German Government now needs to make clear how they're going to reach their 65 per cent renewables target for 2030," he said. "It needs an annual build-out of 5GW of onshore wind - and urgent action to speed up the permitting process.

"They've a clear opportunity to figure things out now with their 'Public Acceptance Working Group'. The Group should agree to identify zones ripe for new wind farms. And ensure restrictions on things like distance or height of turbines aren't out of sync with the rest of Europe. There's plenty of space available for new wind farms in Germany. And they can build them in industrial sites like the Dutch do or alongside motorways like in France and Belgium."

He added that repowering early wind farms that are coming to the end of their life "will also help". "Replacing old turbines with modern ones doubles the capacity with one third fewer turbines," he said.


Source: https://www.businessgreen.c...

MAY 10 2019
http://www.windaction.org/posts/49820-windeurope-collapsing-german-onshore-wind-development-putting-eu-renewables-targets-at-risk
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