10 December 2021
New German Government to speed up wind energy expansion
The new German Government is up and running. The coalition of Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals brands itself a “climate Government”. They’ve agreed that Germany should exit coal-fired power earlier than planned – in 2030 if possible. And that much more renewable energy will be required to achieve that. So they’ve ambitious plans for the expansion of wind energy – both onshore and offshore.
The new Government wants to have 80% renewable electricity by 2030 compared to the earlier target of 65%. This is in line with the EU’s proposed new 40% renewable energy target for 2030. The new Government has also raised the electricity consumption expectation for 2030 to 680-750 TWh – which of course makes the 80% renewable electricity target even more ambitious.
Onshore wind expansion has slowed down in recent years in Germany due to planning and permitting bottlenecks. The new Government wants to speed up planning and make it easier for Germany’s Federal States to award permits. It also wants to set aside 2% of German territory for onshore wind. Some immediate action can be taken on military and aviation restrictions to free up several GW, but it will take a while time for reforms in permitting and planning to take effect.
The new Government also aims to simplify permitting for the repowering of existing wind farms. This really matters in Germany – more than 8GW of their 55 GW onshore wind is already older than 20 years.
And the Government have significantly upgraded Germany’s offshore wind ambitions. They have raised the 2030 target from 20 GW to 30 GW. And they want 40GW by 2035 and 70GW by 2045. Today Germany has 7.7GW of offshore wind.
What about a new target for onshore wind? Well, the Government expect onshore wind to bridge the gap between all the other renewables (including offshore wind) and the 80% renewable electricity target. This means in practice that Germany will need between 85 and 125 GW of onshore wind by 2030. Today they have 56 GW.
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson says: “The new German Government has very promising new ambitions for wind energy. It is excellent that they recognise the problems with the permitting on onshore wind and are determined to tackle them – and to facilitate the repowering of existing wind farms. It is also good that the Government wants to reserve 2% of German territory for onshore wind. And that they have raised the offshore wind target for 2030.”