Wind Power

Another Record Year for German Wind Power

German wind power grew faster than ever before in 2002, with 2,328 wind turbines with a total capacity of 3,247 MW installed – 20 percent more than the 2,659 MW installed in 2001, the previous record-breaking year.

Osnabrück, Germany – April 1, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Wind power is becoming an inherent part of Germany’s energy supply. At the end of December 2002, there were some 13,750 turbines with a joint capacity of 12,000 MW installed throughout the nation – 37 percent more than at the end of 2001. “In an average wind year, the installed capacity in Germany can meet about 4.5 percent of the country’s electricity demand,” said Peter Ahmels, president of the German Wind Energy Association (Bundesverband WindEnergie BWE). Clean wind energy also stimulates the German labor market. At present, the sector employs around 45,000 people, almost a fifth of whom were hired just last year. “Considering the otherwise negative developments on the jobs market, this is a very welcome trend,” said Ahmels. Looking at the regional breakdown of installed wind power capacity in Germany, the state of Lower Saxony still leads with 900 MW newly installed in 2002. At the end of the year, 3,626 turbines (3,325 MW) were up and running there. Wind power can now meet nearly 14 percent of the state’s power demand. Behind Lower Saxony, however, the sequence of the states has shifted somewhat in comparison to previous years. Schleswig-Holstein, which for years had occupied the number two position, dropped to number five with only 246 MW newly installed. In this state between the North and Baltic Seas, it’s gradually becoming noticeable that most of the certified areas are already built up. Also North Rhine-Westphalia, which for a long time had come in third place, fell to number four. Brandenburg (504 MW in 2002) and Saxony-Anhalt (498 MW), on the other hand, both moved up the list, while coastal Mecklenburg-West Pomerania added a mere 108 MW. But the biggest share of wind power is still in Schleswig-Holstein, where 2,513 turbines (1,799 MW) now meet more than 25 percent of the power demand. Mecklenburg-West Pomerania follows with about 21 percent, trailed by Saxony-Anhalt with more than 18 percent and Brandenburg with more than 14 percent.