New Record for Wind Installations in Germany

As Spiegel and many others report, the German Wind Energy Association BWE has announced figures for 2014. They are a new record 4.75 GW, breaking the 12 year old record of 2002 (3.2 GW).

That sounds like good news, and it is.

The bad news is that much of that is built by people who think that the 2014 reform of the Renewable Energy Law will make projects harder to build. They have finished their projects early to avoid being hit by these changes.

I have just written a paper (in Japanese) on the 2014 reform and agree with the sentiment that it may be a good idea for a developer to try avoiding these changes. Most of them are intended to prolong the life of coal electricity generation in Germany by delaying the transition to renewable, under the pretext of saving costs (actually, the transition to an auction model will work to increase cost).

It will take a couple of years to see how much renewable energy in Germany is slowed down by this reform. But one good thing has already happened, and it is irreversible. In anticipation of these unfortunate changes, Germany has set a new record for new wind installations last year.

That will come in handy when the time for evaluation of the transition to an auction model comes. Obviously, the drop in speed will look even more impressive when it is compared to a record year like 2014.




Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

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