Wind research group Fachagentur Windenergie an Land has released data showing onshore wind power in Germany has had its second highest year in terms of installations.
The group says 4.2 – 4.5 MW has been added to the German grid. 3.1 GW was already added by the end of September, with another 3.7 GW approved, as companies rush to produce projects before the government change from auction to feed in tariffs next year.
The data is expected to record 2016 as second only to 2014 when 4.7 GW was installed, and is a significant improvement when onshore wind additions totalled 3.5 GW.
The government wants to slow down wind capacity through its latest reform of the EEG law passed this summer, which will cap the annual tender volume for onshore wind at 2,800 MW from 2017.
Berlin is doing this as it wants to tackle the problem of building up its grid to adapt to the extent of wind energy currently available.
According to the study, some 1.2 GW of projects are already approved for the grid bottleneck areas in northern Germany and can be realized without restrictions.
Combined onshore and offshore wind capacity in Germany is approaching the 50 GW mark with some 5 GW to be added this year on top of the 44.9 GW installed by end-2015, an annual capacity gain of around 10 per cent.
Overall, wind contributed more than 13 per cent to Germany's power demand in 2015 and is estimated to be ahead of nuclear, on an annual basis, for the first time this year.