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Germany Emerges as Europe's Wind Energy Champion in 2023

2024-03-22

In 2023, Germany solidified its position as the leading country in Europe for wind energy capacity. According to the WindEurope industry association, one-fifth of all newly installed wind energy capacity in Europe last year was found on German soil. This impressive feat, which amounted to 3.9 gigawatts (GW) and accounted for over 20 percent of the total installed capacity, puts Germany at the forefront of the wind energy revolution.

 

 

Germany Takes the Lead in New Wind Energy Installations

 

No other country in Europe managed to surpass Germany's achievement in terms of new wind energy installations in 2023. This is according to the statistics released by the WindEurope industry association. Germany's accomplishment is even more astounding when considering that 3,567 megawatts (MW) of the total installed capacity came from onshore wind farms, with the remaining capacity being generated by offshore installations.

 

Wind Energy Continues its Upward Trajectory

 

Bearbel Heidebroek, President of the Federal Association of Wind Energy (BWE), expressed her optimism about the continuous growth and success of the wind energy industry. Referring to the new record level of wind energy capacity installed in the European Union (EU) in 2023, Heidebroek emphasized that more than 13 GW of new onshore wind energy capacity was added across the EU. A significant portion of this achievement, nearly one-third, can be attributed to Germany. Heidebroek further stated that the various measures taken by Germany, such as the EU Emergency Regulation, RED III, and numerous federal laws, have played a crucial role in accelerating the expansion of wind energy.

 

Anticipating Further Wind Energy Progress Through RED III Implementation

 

The BWE anticipates that the implementation of RED III in member states will lead to expedited planning and approval processes for wind energy projects. Heidebroek urged for the momentum achieved so far to be sustained and built upon. She highlighted Germany's strong foundation, underpinned by an impressive volume of over 7.5 GW in new wind energy approvals during the previous year, which will position Germany as a leading player in the European market. This achievement underscores the potential that can be unlocked when there is strong political commitment.

 

Repowering Represents One-Third of Germany's Wind Energy Growth

 

In total, the EU countries added 16.2 GW of wind energy capacity in 2023, with 13.3 GW (79 percent) of that being onshore wind power. Germany led the pack with 3.9 GW of these installations, closely followed by the Netherlands and Sweden. Notably, approximately one-third of Germany's wind energy growth can be attributed to repowering projects. Furthermore, Germany ranked among the top three countries in terms of wind energy's contribution to electricity consumption, trailing behind Denmark and Ireland. Last year, wind energy accounted for nearly one-fifth (19 percent) of the EU's electricity consumption.

 

EU's Target for Wind Energy Capacity Within Reach

 

The impressive progress in Germany and across Europe brings the EU's goal of achieving 425 GW of installed wind energy capacity by 2030 within reach. WindEurope projects an additional 200 GW of capacity to be installed by 2030, with an average annual growth of 29 GW. Currently, the EU boasts a total installed wind energy capacity of 272 GW, including both onshore and offshore installations.

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