WindEnergy Hamburg 2014:
Wind industry makes the most of its role as pioneer of the energy transition
At the leading international wind industry trade fair, VDMA Power Systems and the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) have issued a positive outlook for the development of the wind industry: "New markets, high expansion figures, and a positive cost trend are characteristic for the effective partnership between turbine manufacturers and the power industry", said both Andreas Nauen, chair of VDMA Power Systems and CEO of Senvion SE, and Hildegard Müller, chair of the executive board of BDEW at a joint press conference. Both associations see wind energy both on and offshore as the driving force of the global energy transition. "If Germany is to maintain its pioneering role in restructuring energy supply, the government here must provide better framework conditions", emphasised both association representatives.
With regard to the international development of wind power, the machine and plant engineering lobby group, VDMA Power Systems, estimates that in terms of capacity in many large key markets like China and the USA wind ranks among the top energy sources. Internationally active turbine manufacturers see the emerging markets in regions of the world that might at first appear surprising. "We have identified Turkey, South Africa and Japan as new Plus 500 megawatt markets", said Nauen. Gigawatt market Canada also remains strong. Markets like Brazil are difficult because they demand local content from the industry, i.e. local turbine production. Some manufacturers and suppliers are therefore withdrawing from the market. The industry is expecting a global growth of the annual market for new installations of 25 percent in 2014, and a more moderate growth of 5 percent in 2015 and thereafter. VDMA forecasts a newly installed capacity of 52,000 MW in 2018.
A positive omen for further expansion is that wind power costs will continue to decrease. This is especially true as far as offshore wind energy is concerned. "Modern offshore turbines are up to 20 percent more efficient than first generation turbines, their service life is five years longer, and innovative concepts for foundations for larger wind turbines make them significantly cheaper. This reduces energy generation costs effectively", emphasised Nauen.
In Hamburg the BDEW also published the latest figures for wind energy development in Germany: a total of 36,027 billion kilowatt hours (BkWh) of electricity was generated with wind between January and August 2014. This was 23 percent more than in the same period in 2013 (29,288 BkWh). Electricity generation from wind in August 2014 stood at 3,688 billion kilowatt hours. "This has been a record year for wind energy so far", said Müller. From BDEW’s point of view, now that the amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) has been passed, we now need to take further steps towards market and system integration of renewable energy in Germany.
The BDEW is calling for reliable political framework conditions for the expansion of onshore wind energy. "Wind energy plays a decisive role in energy transition. If we want to take energy transition seriously as a major social project, then we need more engagement and commitment from the federal states", said Müller. Without the necessary space for wind turbines it will not be possible to meet the ambitious expansion targets. This cannot serve climate protection or the energy transition. "The Länderöffnungsklausel (clause regulating the right of individual federal states to set the minimum distances between wind turbines and housing) that was recently passed along with the EEG amendment drastically reduces wind energy potential on land. This thwarts all the efforts of all actors pushing for the expansion of land-based wind power", said Müller.
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