News Release from Bundesverband WindEnergie e.V. (BWE)


Wind Industry Profile of

VDMA and BWE about German Onshore Wind Energy Expansion in 2023

Onshore Wind Energy Expansion in 2023 Continues Upward Trend; Resilience Must Be Strengthened

Bild: Deutsche Windguard, BWE, VDMABild: Deutsche Windguard, BWE, VDMA

745 new installations with a total capacity of 3,567 MW contribute further momentum to the expansion, which is now gaining significant traction.

Source: BWE, VDMA, Deutsche Windguard Source: BWE, VDMA, Deutsche Windguard • New approvals totaling around 7,500 MW represent top-tier performance and provide a solid foundation for future expansion.

• Approximately 6,400 MW were newly awarded in 2023, nearly doubling compared to the previous year (3,485 MW), but still far from the legal target of 12,840 MW.

• Achieving political goals depends on consistent adherence to the reform course.

• Insufficient progress in areas such as land availability, approval duration, and transportation persists.

Berlin, Frankfurt – January 16, 2024 - In the overall year of 2023, Germany saw the installation of 745 onshore wind energy turbines with a total capacity of 3,567 megawatts (MW). This result, exceeding the forecast of the German WindGuard commissioned by BWE and VDMA Power Systems, surpassed expectations set at 2.7 to 3.2 gigawatts (GW). The gross addition in 2023 is 48.3% higher than the previous year's addition of 2,405 MW. The total stock now stands at 28,677 turbines with a cumulative capacity of around 61,000 MW.

Bärbel Heidebroek, President of the Federal Wind Energy Association (BWE): "Last year, we witnessed peak values in new approvals as well as in awarded projects. The federal and state governments must now work together to sustain these positive developments. The overall successful ramp-up of renewable energies needs to be more than just a reaction to external crises. It requires a legal framework that provides long-term clarity and predictability beyond this legislative period. This way, the wind energy sector can fully unleash its potential as a driving economic sector, secure jobs in Germany, and contribute to a secure and clean energy supply."

Dr. Dennis Rendschmidt, Managing Director of VDMA Power Systems: "The significant upward trend is encouraging, yet it has not been possible to align ambitious political goals with reality. This is evident as, in 2023, out of an auction volume of 12.8 gigawatts, only about half could be awarded. The growing gap in expansion must now be reduced through more projects—faster approvals, more land, and the removal of implementation barriers. Particularly, implementation issues at the state level need to be addressed."

Urgent Implementation of Acceleration Pact

The associations therefore urge the swift implementation of further announced measures to accelerate wind energy expansion. Bärbel Heidebroek: "In November 2023, the federal and state governments agreed on a comprehensive package of measures as part of the Acceleration Pact. These decisions must now be translated into laws as quickly as possible, preferably in the first quarter of this year. Last year, a volume of 7,504 megawatts was newly approved. To realize this as smoothly as possible, the groundwork must be laid now. This includes particularly more predictable and uniform requirements in the area of transport permits, which currently delay projects and significantly hinder project implementation."

Prequalification Criteria to Strengthen the European Wind Industry

Given the unequal international competitive environment, the associations also emphasize the need to further strengthen and make the European industrial base more resilient. The political goal outlined in the EU Net Zero Industry Act for a sovereign European wind industry is correct. Dr. Dennis Rendschmidt: "German and European manufacturers find themselves in an uneven competition with largely state-supported companies from China and players from the USA generously subsidized through the Inflation Reduction Act. A level playing field is needed to survive in this environment. A prerequisite for this is a European framework that stabilizes demand, ensures fair competition in Europe, especially against market players with unequal conditions, and strengthens production scalability. For competitive balance in the wind industry, it is essential to establish Europe-wide binding prequalification criteria contributing to resilience."

Forecast for Germany and the World

For 2024, the associations predict an expected expansion of over 4 GW at an unchanged realization speed.

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) in its current forecast anticipates a global onshore expansion of around 105 GW for 2024. For the period from 2024 to 2027, a worldwide onshore expansion of 465 GW is projected. China (241 GW), Europe (87 GW), and the USA (50 GW) are expected to be the largest growth markets for onshore wind energy during this period, according to GWEC.

Translated from BWE
Übersetzung: M. Tschierschke

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