German Wind-Power Market Grows Even as Offshore Projects Delayed

Wind-power installations in Germany, the home of turbine makers Siemens AG and Nordex SE, rose 14 percent in the first half even as projects at sea were set back by installation and connection delays, an industry lobby said.

Developers added 1,143 megawatts of turbines, including 105 megawatts offshore, up from 1,004 megawatts a year earlier, the BWE group said today in an e-mailed statement.

Germany is investing in clean energy as it shutters nuclear reactors. Its drive to raise the share of renewables to at least 35 percent of power use by 2020 from about 25 percent has driven growth in wind farms even as some were postponed by glitches in deep-water installation and an outmoded electrical grid.

Wind investments in Germany rose 23 percent last year to about 2.7 billion euros ($3.6 billion), according to BWE, which expects onshore additions of as much as 2,900 megawatts in 2013.

The renewables drive has helped push up energy costs in the run-up to federal elections on Sept. 22. All the main political parties have vowed to change the clean-energy subsidy program after the vote, with Chancellor Angela Merkel saying in June that the project boom had made “huge problems for the system.”

Investors are demanding greater political clarity over the country’s subsidy plans, BWE said.

“Politics and bureaucracy still undermine a quick energy switch,” said Sylvia Pilarsky-Grosch, the group’s president.

Global wind installations may reach 39,000 megawatts this year and as much as 45,000 megawatts in 2014, according to Thorsten Herdan, head of the manufacturers’ group VDMA Power Systems.

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