Germany installed 4,625 megawatts (MW) worth of onshore wind turbines in 2016, up about a quarter, industry groups said on Tuesday, warning that future growth would slow as the sector moves away from subsidies and towards a tender-based system. Engineering group VDMA and wind energy association BWE expect installations of 4,500-5,000 MW this year, before dropping to 3,000-3,500 MW in 2018. In 2019, they could drop to below 2,800 MW, the industry groups said, bringing it more in line with government targets of 2,500 MW.
“The industry will work on compensating for the decline of the German market via exports,” said Matthias Zelinger, managing director at VDMA Power Systems. The government wants to move green power installations away from the comfortable 20-year fixed-price models used in the past and base future site allocations on the competitiveness of the locations, looking at historical wind speeds. Germany, which now has nearly 46 GW of accumulated onshore wind capacity, is home to some of the world’s largest wind turbine makers, including Siemens, Enercon, Senvion and Nordex.