German wind industry sees 2009 growth, stable 2008

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New German wind power capacity additions in 2009 should rise again after stabilising this year at 2007 levels, industry association BWE and equipment makers group VDMA said on Wednesday.

The two bodies said in a joint statement that the domestic market was robust again after support schemes were updated to guarantee higher prices for power production from 2009 and as old equipment was expected to be upgraded to higher standards.

“The national market will have stabilised at last year’s level by the end of 2008 and start growing slowly again from 2009,” said Herman Albers, president of BWE.

In the first half of 2008, 415 new installations of nearly 800 megawatts (MW) capacity were built, bringing Germany’s total installed capacity to 23,044 MW, figures from BWE and VDMW showed.

This made it likely that the full year figure for newly installed megawatts would match the size of additions in 2007 of 1,667 MW, a VDMA spokesman said.

The 2007 number fell by a quarter from 2,233 MW in 2006, as project companies feared lower incentives and an exodus of domestic turbine makers to sites abroad.

“This has changed considerably so that we can hope to install perhaps 1,800 or 1,900 MW in 2009, and 2,300 MW in 2010,” the VDMA spokesman added, citing a recent poll of project companies’ intentions by research institute DEWI.

In the next decade, the German market may return to growth figures of 3,000 MW and more per year as were seen in the young market in earlier parts of this decade, he added.

This will result from first commercial offshore wind parks coming on stream, which will complement the existing onshore fleet of turbines.

Revised incentive rules, which take account of the wind sector’s environmental contribution as it does not generate carbon dioxides emissions, now increase the pay-out to wind power producers by 15 percent or 1.2 cents per kilowatt hour to 9.2 cents/kWh from 2009. (Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Anthony Barker)

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