Status of Wind Energy in Germany

Wind Energy - Brief Info

The energy concept presented by the Federal Government will give answers to the question of how the future energy supply will be structured. The potentials of the different forms of renewable energy - wind, sun, water, bio-energy and geothermal energy - must be comprehensively utilized according to their state of the art, in order to attain the climate protection goals of the Federal Government.


Currently, renewable energy is about 11% of the primary energy and 23,5% of the required electricity. According to the potential, hydro energy in Germany is already being exploited to a high degree. Currently, the greatest potential for development lies with wind energy. Here, the technical development is quite advanced and there is reliable experience with the technology.


Wind turbine generators use the kinetic energy of the wind, which result from the different air pressure patterns near the earth's surface. In Germany, wind turbine generators are used exclusively to generate electricity coupled to the grid. Modern wind turbine generators utilize the lift principle instead of the resistance principle. They provide no resistance to the wind, rather the wind when flowing past the blades of the system generates lift, which causes the blades of the system to rotate.

Development of Wind Energy Utilization

In the energy mix of the future, wind energy will play a central role in Germany for generating electricity with nearly no CO2 by the year 2050. In 2012, 998 new wind turbine generators were erected. With that, by the end of 2013, Germany had a total of 23,645 wind turbine generators installed with an electrical power of 33,730 MW. In order to further develop the expansion of wind energy, apart from the utilization at suitable sites on land and the replacement of smaller systems by modern more powerful systems, so-called re-powering, the stepwise development of wind energy at sea, the so-called offshore wind energy usage, must be further developed.


Wind energy utilization at sea

Since August 12, 2009, the first offshore wind turbine generators have supplied electricity into the German power grid. On April 27, 2009, a total of 12 wind turbine generators went into operation in the offshore test field Alpha Ventus, in a water depth of 30 m, 45 km north of the island Borkum. With these systems alone, the power requirements of approximately 50,000 households can be met. Alpha Ventus marked the start of offshore wind energy utilization in Germany. With the construction and operation of the first offshore wind park in German waters, it is expected that experience can be acquired from which all future offshore wind parks can profit. The Federal Ministry of the environment has therefore started a research initiative, and is supporting the research in the test field with a total of € 50 million.


Currently, at the first commercial deep-sea wind park in the German North Sea, "BARD Offshore 1", approximately 100 kilometers northwest of Borkum, the 17th wind turbine generator is being erected. The first so-called cluster with eight wind turbine generators supplies power to the grid.


According to the strategy of the federal government for utilizing wind energy at sea, in the long run, that is up to 2020 or 2030, from the utilization of offshore wind energy with attaining efficiency, approximately 6,500 to 15,000 MW of installed power should be supplied into the grid.


The development of this form of energy is compatible with nature and the environment and also economically viable, and should increase in stages.


(Source: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety "Renewable Energy")