03 August 2010

German wind growth down, exports strong

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The German wind energy industry dominates global export numbers, but at home, turbine installations are slowing down.

An unusually long and harsh winter has slowed down wind power growth in Germany, Hermann Albers, the president of the German Wind Energy Association, said Thursday in Berlin.

Installed capacity grew by 660 megawatts in the first half of this year, down from around 800 MW in the first six months of 2009.

"We believe we won't quite reach last year's level," Albers said.

His industry group predicts that 1,900 MW worth of wind turbines will be installed this year, a decline from 1,917 MW in 2009, when the crisis had already begun to affect the industry.

Yet while the German onshore market with more than 26,300 MW of installed capacity is largely saturated, companies including Siemens, REpower and Enercon remain successful abroad. Exports accounted for 75 percent of the sales German wind energy companies generated in 2009, the association said.

"This underlines clearly that the German wind industry has kept its leading position in the global market," said Thorsten Herdan, the head of the German Engineering Federation unit VDMA Power Systems. "Wind energy made in Germany is sought after all over the world, especially in the key markets Europe, North America and Asia."

The companies active in the German wind industry employ around 100,000 people and last year generated sales of more than $6.1 billion, accounting for roughly 17.5 percent of the global market.

The European Wind Energy Association last month unveiled its forecast for 2010, saying that 10,000 MW worth of wind power capacity will be installed in Europe this year, nearly the same as last year.

(Wind Daily)

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