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German Onshore Wind Expansion Collapses

Recharge News

A dramatic collapse of wind additions on land in Germany has dragged down European onshore wind installation figures during the first half of 2019, while additions at sea rose, led by new installations in the UK.

Europe installed 2.9GW of new onshore wind capacity in the period, down from 3.3GW in the first half of 2018, while offshore wind additions rose to 1.9GW in the first half, up from 1.1GW added in the year-ago period, industry group WindEurope said.

Germany experienced its worst half year in terms of onshore installations since 2000, with only 252MW added. The 82% decline compared to the first half of 2018 placed the former European market leader third behind France (523MW added) and Sweden (459MW).

“It was a good start to the year for offshore wind growth. But onshore wind installations were poor these past 6 months,” WindEurope chief policy officer, Pierre Tardieu, said.

“Germany had the lowest first half of the year for new onshore wind installations since 2000. Permitting challenges remain the key bottleneck: 11 GW of onshore wind are stuck in the permitting process in Germany.”

Tardieu added that the transition to auctions in Germany, where so-called ‘community projects’ were allowed to bid in tenders without a permit back in 2017, has been “messy.”

“Many of these projects still need to be built.”

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