Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022 is already having a positive impact on the renewable energy sector.
Under Germany’s new energy roadmap, renewable energy from sources such as solar and wind will replace the power lost from the closure of Germany’s 17 nuclear reactors.
Renewable energy deployment in Germany has increased significantly over the past decade. In 2000, the percentage of electricity generated from renewable resources was 6.3%; in 2010, that figure rose to 17%.
After accounting for Germany’s new power needs resulting from the closure of its nuclear power plants, it is expected that renewables could supply as much as 40% of the country’s electricity by 2022.
This directional shift in energy is translating into new demand for wind turbines. BWE, the German Wind Energy Association, reports Germany will add 1,800MW worth of new turbines in 2011 – a 16% increase from the 1,551MW total in 2010. In total, Germany’s total wind power capacity rose 5.6% from 2009 to reach 27,214MW in 2010.
So far this year, offshore wind power in Europe has grown by 4.5% with 101 new offshore turbines coming online. The energy from these turbines has been connected with power grids in Norway and the United Kingdom, as well as Germany. The European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) reports another 2,844MW of offshore capacity are currently under construction.