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Germany is the world’s largest user of wind power with an installed capacity of 22.3 GW in 2007, ahead of USA which had an installed capacity of 16.8 GW.[1] More than 19,460 wind turbines are located in the German federal area and the country has plans to build more wind turbines.[2][3]

OverviewEdit

Wind power currently produces about six percent of Germany’s total electrical power and it is said that no other country has more technological know-how in this area. Wind power in Germany provides over 70,000 people with jobs and German wind energy systems are also exported.[2] The Fuhrländer Wind Turbine Laasow, built in 2006 near the village of Laasow, Brandenburg, is the tallest wind turbine in the world.

However, the economics of wind power in Germany are under close scrutiny[4] and there are other issues which deserve consideration. These include the effect of wind turbines on the landscape, the effect on the bird population, and the effect on the tourist industry.[2][5]

Installed capacity growthEdit

Increases in installed wind power capacity in recent years is shown in the Table below.

Year Installed Wind
Capacity (MW)
2000 6,104
2001 8,754
2002 11,994
2003 14,609
2004 16,629
2005 18,415
2006 20,622
2007 22,247

Source: Global Wind 2007 Report, p.21

RepoweringEdit

Repowering, the replacement of first-generation wind turbines with modern multi-megawatt machines, is occurring in Germany. Modern turbines make better use of available wind energy and so more wind power can come from the same area of land. Modern turbines also offer much better grid integration since they use a connection method similar to conventional power plants.[6]

Offshore wind powerEdit

Offshore wind energy also has great potential in Germany. Wind speed at sea is 70 to 100% higher than onshore and much more constant. A new generation of 5 MW or larger wind turbines which are capable of making full use of the potential of wind power at sea has already been developed and prototypes are available. This makes it possible to operate offshore wind farms in a cost-effective way once the usual initial difficulties of new technologies have been overcome.[7]

See alsoEdit

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ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit

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