German Wind Farms To Be Terminated As Subsidies Run Out

Wind power is the most important component of Germany’s green energy transition. The end of subsides for older turbines, however, threatens countless wind farms. By 2023, more than a quarter of Germany’s onshore wind farms may be gone.

Several thousand wind turbines in Germany are likely to be closed down in the next decade because they will no longer receive any subsidies. “If electricity prices do not rise over the next decade, only a few plants will survive on the market without subsidies,” says an analysis by the Berlin-based consulting firm Energy Brainpool. This assessment is shared by most professionals. “In any case, by 2020, the shutdown of existing facilities is to be expected to a greater or lesser extent,” an article by several economists of the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Leipzig concludes.

The sticking point is the electricity price of 2021, which nobody knows today. Older wind turbines who have been running for 20 years or more will lose their subsidies under the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), but not their operating permit. They could go on generating power, if they would be profitable. Like all older technology, after 20 years of wear and tear, wind turbines are prone to repairs and are more maintenance-intensive than new products. Operating costs are higher too. The current electricity price of around three cents per kilowatt hour would not be enough to keep wind farms running – with perhaps a few exceptions in particularly good locations.

By 2021 alone, 5,700 wind turbines with a capacity of 4,500 megawatts will be closed down. In the following years, 2,000 to 3,000 megawatts each will be decommissioned. The German Wind Energy Association estimates that by 2023 around 14,000 megawatts of installed capacity will be gone. That would be more than a quarter of the currently installed onshore wind power capacity which would be eliminated.

The planned expansion corridor for onshore wind energy envisages that 2,900 megawatts of power will be installed in 2020 and in subsequent years. But that’s gross, not net. Decommissioned and dismantled facilities are not considered. In light of the current situation, more wind capacity would be decommissioned than new capacity added. Onshore wind energy would shrink, not grow.

Full story (in German)

via The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

October 31, 2017 at 05:48AM

3 thoughts on “German Wind Farms To Be Terminated As Subsidies Run Out”

  1. The The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) is run by Lord Lawson, liar in chief for fossil fuel and a paid shill for them, with his wealth invested in oil. He has no training or knowledge in science [he’s an ex Tory Chancellor, so he knows about money], which is why his site is full of total nonsense an 8 year old could pick fault with. He has been attacked repeatedly over the lies, and sued for them in court. He is the most amoral, money-obsessed and deeply ignorant man in the UK and unversally reviled. NO BIAS THERE THEN!
    For your information since you’re so ignorant and desperate to quote from such a discredited source, Germany is switching to 100% renewable energy, and wind is the prime supplier. They have closed all coal fired stations and are closing nuclear. Last year for a whole 24 hours, wind supplied all of Germany’s energy needs. There is no intention of moving back from this, and removing subsidies, intended to stimulate the market and drive it forward, were always temporary and going to become unnecessary as the industry became established.
    No wind turbines will stop turning as a result of this, they are all earning by generating clean energy, and won’t stop until they reach the natural end to their working lives, when they will be replaced with new, more efficient ones.
    You really are pathetic science illiterates.


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