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Wind Energy in Germany

2020 wind energy numbers

Wind energy plays an important role for the successful energy transition to renewable energies in Germany. In 2020 wind energy had the biggest contribution to power generation from renewables. With an amount of 131 TWh electricity from wind power has reached an all-time record (126 TWh in 2019). Special attention should be drawn to February 2020, where more than 20 TWh of wind energy power have been generated, what excels the previous record from March 2019 (15,5 TWh).

To read more about German's wind energy sector in 2020, read their chapter in the 2020 Annual Report.

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Megawatt

Total wind power capacity is 62,167 MW.
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Megawatt

Wind power capacity in Germany increased by 1,650 MW in 2020.
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Terawatt-time

Germany produces 130.97 TWh from wind energy, which accounts for 23,7% of the country’s electricity consumption.

National Targets

With the amendment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act 2021 (EEG 2021) which was adopted in December 2020, renewable energy targets were updated to reach 65 % of electricity share by 2030. To achieve this, the targets for land-based wind energy are set at 71 GW by 2030 and for offshore wind energy at 20 GW by 2030 and 40 GW by 2040. The latter values correspond to the also amended Wind Sea Act (WindSeeG) in 2020.

Furthermore, Germany strives for greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045, five years earlier than originally planned, and which backed by the national hydrogen strategy from June 2020. So-called “green hydrogen” that has been produced using renewable energy will play a key role in enhancing and completing the energy transition by being an energy storage medium or enabling sector coupling. Wind Energy plays a crucial role in scaling up green hydrogen production.

Progress & Operational Details

In 2020 investments and economic impact in onshore and offshore wind energy were 4.93 billion € (6.46 billion € in 2019). While investments in land-based installations have shown an increase to 1.97 billion€ (1.48 billion € in 2019).

In the course of 2020, two offshore wind power projects (OWPs) were commissioned. As of 31 December 2020, a total of 27 projects are in operation and the expansion phase of the projects that were implemented before the introduction of tenders is complete.

Wind energy provided almost 131 TWh (125.9 TWh in 2019) of electricity to the energy system. Land-based wind and offshore wind energy again contributed more than 52 % to the shares of renewable energy sources of gross national electricity consumption (52.17 % in 2020, 51.93 % in 2019). The capacity factors increased slightly to 22.0 % (21.9 % in 2019) onshore and 40.7 % (40.4% in 2019) offshore and are in line with the 5-year averages of 20.58 % onshore and 39.79 % offshore.

National RDD Priorities and Budget

Germany pursues a very broad R&D program (7th Energy Research Programme), rather than focusing on a specific subject. Two of the main goals are to reduce the cost of energy and to increase turbine reliability. While onshore wind turbine design with new materials and innovative control strategies as well as precise prediction of electricity generation are subject of research and development, the challenges of offshore research is maintenance and logistic issues but also increased turbine availability to ensure cost-effective operation. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) has provided a funds flow of 76.06 million € to fund 488 active and ongoing research projects in the field of wind energy in 2020. Additionally, 99 new research projects with a new funding amount of 65.32 million € have been approved in 2020. Another donor of subsidies for wind energy research are the federal states, who provided an additional fund’s flow of 5.64 million Euros.

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