German wind farm photo from Shutterstock

Last year, Germany made headlines when it met half of its weekend power demand using solar energy alone. But that’s not all – the nation just announced that it installed 1,008 new wind turbines last year with a total capacity of 2,439 megawatts. This figure exceeds the previous year’s wind energy capacity by roughly 20%, further exhibiting the stable growth of the German renewable energy market.

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The figures were released by the German Wind Energy Association and VDMA Power Systems, a leader in the country’s wind industry. In a statement, Thorsten Herdan, Managing Director of VDMA PS, said: “Germany is a pillar of strength in a turbulent global market where wind energy is concerned. Both the expected slump of the US market in 2013 and the progressive isolation of the declining Chinese market are forcing manufacturers to focus on the European core markets.

“The systemic modification of the German Renewable Energy Sources Act and the electricity market design thus become all the more important. If these goals can be achieved, the framework conditions on the German domestic market will act as a model for Germany’s export markets.”

Although the stalling US wind market has been detrimental for domestic energy, it has bolstered the European market as regions throughout Germany install additional turbines. Meanwhile, 16 new off-shore wind turbines with a capacity of 80 megawatts were connected to the grid in 2012, bringing the country’s total number of offshore turbines to 68.

“This goes to show the huge potential for improvement we face in this area. Higher turbines and larger rotor diameters guarantee higher yields nationwide. With optimum turbine configuration, we can generate more full load hours all over Germany and make a crucial contribution to grid stability,” said BWE’s Vice President Sylvia Pilarsky-Grosch.

+ German Wind Energy Association

Via Clean Technica

Images: JohnSeb and MSVG