German Wind En Route to Beat Nuclear Power in 2016

German onshore and offshore wind turbines are set to generate more power in 2016 than the country’s nuclear power plants according to an initial extrapolation from current data carried out by IWR, a renewable energy institute.

Image source: Fraunhofer IWES (Illustration)

One of the main factors driving the boost in the generation of wind power is the offshore wind turbines, which will achieve full production capacity this year. Germany connected 546 offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 2,282.4 megawatts to the grid in 2015. The total number of turbines connected to Germany’s grid by 31 December 2015 was 792, with a combined capacity of 3,294.9 megawatts.

“In 2016, German offshore wind turbines alone will definitely be able to beat the 10 billion kilowatt hour electricity mark,” said IWR Director Dr. Norbert Allnoch.

Another reason is the current shutdown of a number of nuclear power plants.

At 88 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), power generation from wind energy in Germany in 2015 lagged only slightly behind production from nuclear energy at 91.8 billion kWh. Offshore wind turbines generated 8.2 billion kWh of power in 2015.

For 2016, IWR is expecting a decrease in electricity generation from German nuclear power plants to significantly below 90 billion kWh and thus to the lowest level since it began in the early 1980s.

The generation of wind power in Germany could, depending on annual wind levels, hit 100 billion kWh for the first time ever, according to IWR.