Germany Sets Sights on Doubling Onshore Wind Power Capacity Buildout in 2023

In a bold move to accelerate its renewable energy goals, Germany is poised to double its onshore wind power capacity buildout in 2023, according to Robert Habeck, the country’s economy and climate action minister. Speaking at the second “wind power summit” of the year, Habeck expressed confidence in the possibility of reaching a capacity of 4 gigawatts (GW) this year, compared to the previous year’s figures. This substantial expansion would propel Germany closer to achieving its ambitious renewable power targets.

Habeck highlighted the successful auctioning of volumes as evidence that doubling the capacity expansion is within reach. The minister further emphasized that if current trends continue and all stakeholders work together, Germany could achieve its goal of building 10 GW annually, a critical milestone in reaching the country’s 2030 renewable power target. Key discussions at the summit revolved around addressing licensing and turbine transport challenges, with the aim of swiftly removing obstacles that hinder the rapid deployment of onshore wind power, Germany’s most vital renewable energy source.

A unified objective emerged from the summit—providing authorities with clear guidelines on interpreting laws and harmonizing procedures. Additionally, the summit stressed the need to bolster alternative forms of transportation for bulky turbine components, particularly through inland waterways. Armin Willingmann, the energy minister of Saxony-Anhalt, echoed the sentiment, highlighting the widespread support among the population for a faster rollout and the high expectations of industrial companies in his state to receive increased renewable power. Willingmann urged for strengthening the wind power industry and creating more local jobs in turbine production.

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Kerstin Andreae, the head of the energy industry association BDEW, expressed cautious optimism about the current expansion speed, noting that approximately 10 new turbines are installed each week. However, to achieve the set targets, Germany would need to install around 30 new turbines per week. Andreae acknowledged the determination of the economy ministry to expedite the process but stressed the importance of consistent commitment from local authorities nationwide. Staff shortages often hinder administrations from processing applications promptly, and addressing this issue is crucial to maintaining momentum. Andreae also emphasized the urgency of expanding the grid infrastructure alongside the development of renewable energy sources.

Following the first wind power summit held in March, Habeck praised the states of Germany for recognizing the significance of renewable energy for their local industries and their readiness to rapidly expand onshore wind installations. Germany’s ambitious plan aims to meet 80 percent of its electricity demand from renewable sources by 2030. To achieve this, the country must build 150 GW of photovoltaic capacity, 57 GW of new onshore wind turbines and 22 GW of offshore turbines.

With its commitment to doubling onshore wind power capacity in 2023, Germany is poised to solidify its position as a global leader in renewable energy. By overcoming licensing challenges, enhancing turbine production, and addressing staff shortages, the nation is laying a strong foundation for a sustainable future driven by clean and reliable wind power. As Germany forges ahead, the world will be watching, with hopes that its success will inspire and accelerate the global transition to renewable energy.

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