German wind awaits election results

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Ilaria Valtimora
September 18, 2017
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German wind awaits election results

Is Angela Merkel the “forever chancellor”? Elections are imminent in Germany and Merkel looks set to win her place as Germany’s leader for the fourth time, with her Christian Democratic Union the largest party in the Bundestag. Latest polls say this should not result in a big electoral shock – but we’ve heard that one before!

For example, research from Infratest Dimap last week showed Merkel polling around 15% ahead of her main challenger, former president of the European Parliament and leader of the centre-left Social Democrats, Martin Schulz.

However, there could still be change for wind.

In terms of the overall support for renewables, Merkel’s credentials are sound. Per Hornung Pedersen, chairman at German developer PNE Wind, told us that a fourth mandate for Merkel should give confidence to renewables because of her track record of support: “In terms of renewables Merkel is certainly not deaf”, he said.

She was elected Chancellor for the first time in 2005 and in her first term earned the nickname of “klimakanzlerin” – climate chancellor – for her fight to establish binding emission reduction targets. She has also played a central role in ‘energiewende’, the transformation of Germany toward green energy.

This has been good for wind. In her three terms, totalling 12 years, Germany has installed over 29GW of new wind capacity, ending 2016 with 50GW of wind installed capacity. Pedersen is confident that “Germany is going to need more electricity going forward” and this would give more scope to support renewables, including wind.

However, Merkel is not set to win a majority of votes and a coalition is set to be the most likely option again. The current government is made up of Merkel's CDU and the Social Democrats and, in this form, the government approved a number of acts in July 2016 to change the system of promoting the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources.

This included the introduction of competitive auctions for wind projects, to drive down the cost of wind farms and cap annual onshore wind installations at 2.8GW annually from this year, and 2.9GW from 2020 onwards.

These acts have drawn criticism from the German wind industry.

The first two onshore wind auctions showed the dominance of community-based groups, which the government aims to support in this year’s auctions, including the one scheduled for November. The government has applied special rules for these groups and their so-called “citizens’ parks”. For example, they don’t need a construction permit when they bid, unlike other developers.

But this has been undermining confidence of wind companies and posing issues on projecting how the wind sector would grow in the next few years. At the Husum wind conference, which took place in Northern Germany last week, the German wind association BWE blamed the government as these laws could curtail the growth of the wind sector. BWE refused to comment for this article.

So will the new government change tack on wind? Possibly.

At present, one of the most likely outcomes from the vote on 24 September is that Germany will have the same coalition. This would mean maintaining the situation in place since 2013, extending the past four years of government’s policies.

But it is not the only option. For example, Pedersen argues that a ‘black-yellow’ coalition between Merkel’s CDU (the black) and the Free Democratic Party (the yellow) is a possibility. This would be significant as the FDP’s manifesto calls for an end to all subsidies for renewables and green energy targets in general, and the abolition of the Renewable Energy Act. That would be bad news.

Whatever the outcome of the election, Pedersen argues that 2018 is going to be a challenging transitional year for wind energy. He is however confident that the sector will catch up again in 2019, as community-based groups are set to start delivering the facilities from this year’s onshore auctions.

From our side, we see reasons to be positive. Yes, Germany is adapting to lower installation levels as the government reins in subsides, which will mean some short-term pain. However, it will remain a huge market with a population that is committed to green energy – often moreso than their leaders.

Is Angela Merkel the “forever chancellor”? Elections are imminent in Germany and Merkel looks set to win her place as Germany’s leader for the fourth time, with her Christian Democratic Union the largest party in the Bundestag. Latest polls say this should not result in a big electoral shock – but we’ve heard that one before!

For example, research from Infratest Dimap last week showed Merkel polling around 15% ahead of her main challenger, former president of the European Parliament and leader of the centre-left Social Democrats, Martin Schulz.

However, there could still be change for wind.

In terms of the overall support for renewables, Merkel’s credentials are sound. Per Hornung Pedersen, chairman at German developer PNE Wind, told us that a fourth mandate for Merkel should give confidence to renewables because of her track record of support: “In terms of renewables Merkel is certainly not deaf”, he said.

She was elected Chancellor for the first time in 2005 and in her first term earned the nickname of “klimakanzlerin” – climate chancellor – for her fight to establish binding emission reduction targets. She has also played a central role in ‘energiewende’, the transformation of Germany toward green energy.

This has been good for wind. In her three terms, totalling 12 years, Germany has installed over 29GW of new wind capacity, ending 2016 with 50GW of wind installed capacity. Pedersen is confident that “Germany is going to need more electricity going forward” and this would give more scope to support renewables, including wind.

However, Merkel is not set to win a majority of votes and a coalition is set to be the most likely option again. The current government is made up of Merkel's CDU and the Social Democrats and, in this form, the government approved a number of acts in July 2016 to change the system of promoting the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources.

This included the introduction of competitive auctions for wind projects, to drive down the cost of wind farms and cap annual onshore wind installations at 2.8GW annually from this year, and 2.9GW from 2020 onwards.

These acts have drawn criticism from the German wind industry.

The first two onshore wind auctions showed the dominance of community-based groups, which the government aims to support in this year’s auctions, including the one scheduled for November. The government has applied special rules for these groups and their so-called “citizens’ parks”. For example, they don’t need a construction permit when they bid, unlike other developers.

But this has been undermining confidence of wind companies and posing issues on projecting how the wind sector would grow in the next few years. At the Husum wind conference, which took place in Northern Germany last week, the German wind association BWE blamed the government as these laws could curtail the growth of the wind sector. BWE refused to comment for this article.

So will the new government change tack on wind? Possibly.

At present, one of the most likely outcomes from the vote on 24 September is that Germany will have the same coalition. This would mean maintaining the situation in place since 2013, extending the past four years of government’s policies.

But it is not the only option. For example, Pedersen argues that a ‘black-yellow’ coalition between Merkel’s CDU (the black) and the Free Democratic Party (the yellow) is a possibility. This would be significant as the FDP’s manifesto calls for an end to all subsidies for renewables and green energy targets in general, and the abolition of the Renewable Energy Act. That would be bad news.

Whatever the outcome of the election, Pedersen argues that 2018 is going to be a challenging transitional year for wind energy. He is however confident that the sector will catch up again in 2019, as community-based groups are set to start delivering the facilities from this year’s onshore auctions.

From our side, we see reasons to be positive. Yes, Germany is adapting to lower installation levels as the government reins in subsides, which will mean some short-term pain. However, it will remain a huge market with a population that is committed to green energy – often moreso than their leaders.

Is Angela Merkel the “forever chancellor”? Elections are imminent in Germany and Merkel looks set to win her place as Germany’s leader for the fourth time, with her Christian Democratic Union the largest party in the Bundestag. Latest polls say this should not result in a big electoral shock – but we’ve heard that one before!

For example, research from Infratest Dimap last week showed Merkel polling around 15% ahead of her main challenger, former president of the European Parliament and leader of the centre-left Social Democrats, Martin Schulz.

However, there could still be change for wind.

In terms of the overall support for renewables, Merkel’s credentials are sound. Per Hornung Pedersen, chairman at German developer PNE Wind, told us that a fourth mandate for Merkel should give confidence to renewables because of her track record of support: “In terms of renewables Merkel is certainly not deaf”, he said.

She was elected Chancellor for the first time in 2005 and in her first term earned the nickname of “klimakanzlerin” – climate chancellor – for her fight to establish binding emission reduction targets. She has also played a central role in ‘energiewende’, the transformation of Germany toward green energy.

This has been good for wind. In her three terms, totalling 12 years, Germany has installed over 29GW of new wind capacity, ending 2016 with 50GW of wind installed capacity. Pedersen is confident that “Germany is going to need more electricity going forward” and this would give more scope to support renewables, including wind.

However, Merkel is not set to win a majority of votes and a coalition is set to be the most likely option again. The current government is made up of Merkel's CDU and the Social Democrats and, in this form, the government approved a number of acts in July 2016 to change the system of promoting the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources.

This included the introduction of competitive auctions for wind projects, to drive down the cost of wind farms and cap annual onshore wind installations at 2.8GW annually from this year, and 2.9GW from 2020 onwards.

These acts have drawn criticism from the German wind industry.

The first two onshore wind auctions showed the dominance of community-based groups, which the government aims to support in this year’s auctions, including the one scheduled for November. The government has applied special rules for these groups and their so-called “citizens’ parks”. For example, they don’t need a construction permit when they bid, unlike other developers.

But this has been undermining confidence of wind companies and posing issues on projecting how the wind sector would grow in the next few years. At the Husum wind conference, which took place in Northern Germany last week, the German wind association BWE blamed the government as these laws could curtail the growth of the wind sector. BWE refused to comment for this article.

So will the new government change tack on wind? Possibly.

At present, one of the most likely outcomes from the vote on 24 September is that Germany will have the same coalition. This would mean maintaining the situation in place since 2013, extending the past four years of government’s policies.

But it is not the only option. For example, Pedersen argues that a ‘black-yellow’ coalition between Merkel’s CDU (the black) and the Free Democratic Party (the yellow) is a possibility. This would be significant as the FDP’s manifesto calls for an end to all subsidies for renewables and green energy targets in general, and the abolition of the Renewable Energy Act. That would be bad news.

Whatever the outcome of the election, Pedersen argues that 2018 is going to be a challenging transitional year for wind energy. He is however confident that the sector will catch up again in 2019, as community-based groups are set to start delivering the facilities from this year’s onshore auctions.

From our side, we see reasons to be positive. Yes, Germany is adapting to lower installation levels as the government reins in subsides, which will mean some short-term pain. However, it will remain a huge market with a population that is committed to green energy – often moreso than their leaders.

Is Angela Merkel the “forever chancellor”? Elections are imminent in Germany and Merkel looks set to win her place as Germany’s leader for the fourth time, with her Christian Democratic Union the largest party in the Bundestag. Latest polls say this should not result in a big electoral shock – but we’ve heard that one before!

For example, research from Infratest Dimap last week showed Merkel polling around 15% ahead of her main challenger, former president of the European Parliament and leader of the centre-left Social Democrats, Martin Schulz.

However, there could still be change for wind.

In terms of the overall support for renewables, Merkel’s credentials are sound. Per Hornung Pedersen, chairman at German developer PNE Wind, told us that a fourth mandate for Merkel should give confidence to renewables because of her track record of support: “In terms of renewables Merkel is certainly not deaf”, he said.

She was elected Chancellor for the first time in 2005 and in her first term earned the nickname of “klimakanzlerin” – climate chancellor – for her fight to establish binding emission reduction targets. She has also played a central role in ‘energiewende’, the transformation of Germany toward green energy.

This has been good for wind. In her three terms, totalling 12 years, Germany has installed over 29GW of new wind capacity, ending 2016 with 50GW of wind installed capacity. Pedersen is confident that “Germany is going to need more electricity going forward” and this would give more scope to support renewables, including wind.

However, Merkel is not set to win a majority of votes and a coalition is set to be the most likely option again. The current government is made up of Merkel's CDU and the Social Democrats and, in this form, the government approved a number of acts in July 2016 to change the system of promoting the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources.

This included the introduction of competitive auctions for wind projects, to drive down the cost of wind farms and cap annual onshore wind installations at 2.8GW annually from this year, and 2.9GW from 2020 onwards.

These acts have drawn criticism from the German wind industry.

The first two onshore wind auctions showed the dominance of community-based groups, which the government aims to support in this year’s auctions, including the one scheduled for November. The government has applied special rules for these groups and their so-called “citizens’ parks”. For example, they don’t need a construction permit when they bid, unlike other developers.

But this has been undermining confidence of wind companies and posing issues on projecting how the wind sector would grow in the next few years. At the Husum wind conference, which took place in Northern Germany last week, the German wind association BWE blamed the government as these laws could curtail the growth of the wind sector. BWE refused to comment for this article.

So will the new government change tack on wind? Possibly.

At present, one of the most likely outcomes from the vote on 24 September is that Germany will have the same coalition. This would mean maintaining the situation in place since 2013, extending the past four years of government’s policies.

But it is not the only option. For example, Pedersen argues that a ‘black-yellow’ coalition between Merkel’s CDU (the black) and the Free Democratic Party (the yellow) is a possibility. This would be significant as the FDP’s manifesto calls for an end to all subsidies for renewables and green energy targets in general, and the abolition of the Renewable Energy Act. That would be bad news.

Whatever the outcome of the election, Pedersen argues that 2018 is going to be a challenging transitional year for wind energy. He is however confident that the sector will catch up again in 2019, as community-based groups are set to start delivering the facilities from this year’s onshore auctions.

From our side, we see reasons to be positive. Yes, Germany is adapting to lower installation levels as the government reins in subsides, which will mean some short-term pain. However, it will remain a huge market with a population that is committed to green energy – often moreso than their leaders.

Is Angela Merkel the “forever chancellor”? Elections are imminent in Germany and Merkel looks set to win her place as Germany’s leader for the fourth time, with her Christian Democratic Union the largest party in the Bundestag. Latest polls say this should not result in a big electoral shock – but we’ve heard that one before!

For example, research from Infratest Dimap last week showed Merkel polling around 15% ahead of her main challenger, former president of the European Parliament and leader of the centre-left Social Democrats, Martin Schulz.

However, there could still be change for wind.

In terms of the overall support for renewables, Merkel’s credentials are sound. Per Hornung Pedersen, chairman at German developer PNE Wind, told us that a fourth mandate for Merkel should give confidence to renewables because of her track record of support: “In terms of renewables Merkel is certainly not deaf”, he said.

She was elected Chancellor for the first time in 2005 and in her first term earned the nickname of “klimakanzlerin” – climate chancellor – for her fight to establish binding emission reduction targets. She has also played a central role in ‘energiewende’, the transformation of Germany toward green energy.

This has been good for wind. In her three terms, totalling 12 years, Germany has installed over 29GW of new wind capacity, ending 2016 with 50GW of wind installed capacity. Pedersen is confident that “Germany is going to need more electricity going forward” and this would give more scope to support renewables, including wind.

However, Merkel is not set to win a majority of votes and a coalition is set to be the most likely option again. The current government is made up of Merkel's CDU and the Social Democrats and, in this form, the government approved a number of acts in July 2016 to change the system of promoting the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources.

This included the introduction of competitive auctions for wind projects, to drive down the cost of wind farms and cap annual onshore wind installations at 2.8GW annually from this year, and 2.9GW from 2020 onwards.

These acts have drawn criticism from the German wind industry.

The first two onshore wind auctions showed the dominance of community-based groups, which the government aims to support in this year’s auctions, including the one scheduled for November. The government has applied special rules for these groups and their so-called “citizens’ parks”. For example, they don’t need a construction permit when they bid, unlike other developers.

But this has been undermining confidence of wind companies and posing issues on projecting how the wind sector would grow in the next few years. At the Husum wind conference, which took place in Northern Germany last week, the German wind association BWE blamed the government as these laws could curtail the growth of the wind sector. BWE refused to comment for this article.

So will the new government change tack on wind? Possibly.

At present, one of the most likely outcomes from the vote on 24 September is that Germany will have the same coalition. This would mean maintaining the situation in place since 2013, extending the past four years of government’s policies.

But it is not the only option. For example, Pedersen argues that a ‘black-yellow’ coalition between Merkel’s CDU (the black) and the Free Democratic Party (the yellow) is a possibility. This would be significant as the FDP’s manifesto calls for an end to all subsidies for renewables and green energy targets in general, and the abolition of the Renewable Energy Act. That would be bad news.

Whatever the outcome of the election, Pedersen argues that 2018 is going to be a challenging transitional year for wind energy. He is however confident that the sector will catch up again in 2019, as community-based groups are set to start delivering the facilities from this year’s onshore auctions.

From our side, we see reasons to be positive. Yes, Germany is adapting to lower installation levels as the government reins in subsides, which will mean some short-term pain. However, it will remain a huge market with a population that is committed to green energy – often moreso than their leaders.

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Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.