Renewable Energy Sees ‘Big Potential’ in German Wind Farm Market

Renewable Energy Systems Ltd., a U.K. company that’s built about 7 gigawatts of clean-energy projects in parts of Europe and North America, plans to expand its reach to Germany, the continent’s biggest market for the industry.

RES may develop as early as this year onshore wind farms in Germany and is talking to potential partners as it defines its expansion plans there, said Jean-Marc Armitano, chief executive officer of the developer’s RES Mediterranean unit.

“For so many years, people were saying it’s too late to enter the German market,” Armitano said in an interview at a wind-power conference in Vienna. “The market has been steadily growing and there’s still a big potential.”

Germany is investing in clean energy as it phases out nuclear power. It plans to build offshore wind farms covering an area as much as six times the size of New York City and raise renewable-energy production to about 40 percent of total power output by the end of the decade, from about 25 percent now.

RES is also in “advanced discussions” with a Turkish construction company to develop a 120-megawatt wind plant in Kirklareli, he said. RES wants to start building early next year a 48-megawatt plant in Havza in Turkey’s Black Sea region as the company plans to grow its portfolio in the country by as much as 100 megawatts a year in the next decade.

Turkey has lured international investors including General Electric Co. and Siemens AG to its power industry as the regulator forecasts annual demand growth of 6.3 percent in the next two decades. The country is bucking the trend of most emerging European nations, where retail electricity consumption is trailing growth in incomes.