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Expansion in Different States



The Electricity Feed-in Law laid down a wind power remuneration of 8 to 9 ct/kWh from 1991 to 2002, and facilitated economically profitable usage for WTs at locations with good wind conditions. Accordingly, Germany saw a »wind turbine boom« in coastal regions in the mid-90s. Increasing levels of technical development meant more and more WTs were built in noncoastal locations far from the coast and in the low  mountain regions of Germany. The territorial state Lower Saxony owns most of the installed WTs and installed wind capacity.


Highcharts Example
Data source for image


Capacity and number of wind turbines in individual German states

Data sources: [Keiler and Häuser]; [Fraunhofer IEE]



Most federal states have set their own climate and energy targets. These expansion goals massively exceed the amount first set out at federal level in the EEG 2014 expansion path for wind energy in Germany and are not used in the subsequent grid planning. The scenario framework for the network expansion plans (NEP) approved by the Federal Network (Grid) Agency Electricity 2017–2030 [Bundesnetzagenur] suggests an expected installed capacity of 58.5 GW onshore in 2030, which is about a third less than the expected 90.9 GW that the federal states announced in the scenario framework for NEP 2030.


The following figure shows the capacity installed to date, the expansion in 2018 and the rated capacity of the turbines that have been granted approval until the beginning of 2019. The target figures shown are the capacities assumed in Scenario B 2035 and the forecasts reported by the State Government for 2035. The NEP 2030 forecasts for Bavaria and Saxony will meet or exceed the targets if those turbines that have been approved to date are realised.







Expansion status, extension in 2018, approved wind capacity, as well as expansion scenario B of the approved NEP 2030 and reported expansion targets from the scenario framework in the grid development plan 2030 (status 2019) in the individual federal states as well as for the North Sea and Baltic Sea. In addition, the mean wind speed at hub height and the mean hub height for projects with information on wind speed are shown in the turbine register. Wind speeds are displayed from 4 data sets per federal state.

Data sources: [Keiler and Häuser]; [Crawford and Hudson]; [UeNB]; [50Hertz Transmission GmbH]; [Bundesnetzagentur];


It was also decided that the coastal states of Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and northern Lower-Saxony will have expansion restricted to a maximum of 58 percent of the average installed capacity between 2013 and 2015. This means that a maximum of 902 MW per year can be installed in this area until 2020. This restraint is aimed at restricting the installation of new turbines in regions where there are already grid bottlenecks [Bundesnetzagentur].






Wind projects with BImSchG approval by federal state, status 31.12.2018

Data source: [Keiler and Häuser];



In July 2014, the law to introduce a state opening clause to specify minimum distances for wind turbines was passed by the Finance Committee of the Bundestag [Bundesrat]. Bavaria was thus able in November 2014 to define a state-specific minimum distance for wind turbines from residential buildings with the 10H regulation. Wind turbines are only approved if their distance from the nearest residential development is ten times the system height. Until now, wind turbines were allowed to be located 800 m away from residential buildings throughout the country. Shorter distances are only possible with agreement within the municipality and with the neighbouring communities concerned.






Exact postcode distribution of newly installed onshore wind capacity in Germany in 2018

Data source: [Bundesnetzagentur]




The governments of the federal states, which also control land use, predominantly support the expansion of wind energy. Lower Saxony is also in 2018 the leader among the states when it comes to wind energy expansion. The installed WT capacity of Lower Saxony in 2018 lies at 780 MW, which accounts for almost one third of the total installed capacity in Germany for that year. Second comes Northrhine- Westphalia with a newly installed capacity of  343 MW. Brandenburg and Hesse istalled 297 MW and 232 MW, respectively. The regional distribution of wind energy expansion is shown in the previous image, whereas the distribution of the total installed cxaapcities by 2018 is shown in the following one. The with great extend largest average wind power density based on the area of the state lies at 449 kW / km² in Schleswig-Holstein. It is followed by the states Saxony- Anhalt, Lower Saxony and Brandenburg with values between 250 kW / km² and 237 kW / km². The southern states  Bavaria and Baden- Württenberg have a wind power deensity of 35 kW / km² and 43 kW / km², respectively.


The largest growth-rates which lie between 12 and 14 percent were noted in Saarland and Hesse. Yet, they represent a growth of only 57 GW and 232 GW, respectively.  Baden- Württenberg had a capacity expansion of 37 percent in 2017, in constrast to 2018, where an expansion of only 8 percent was achieved. A break-in of installation capacity in absolute numbers was recorded in Lower Saxony, Northrhein- Westphalia and Schleswig-Hoolstein. The installtion capacities were between 440 MW (Schleswig-Hoolstein) and up to 665 MW (Lower Saxony) lower in constrast to last year.


Key to further expansion are the planning approvals for additional wind turbines that were granted up until now. With the end of 2018, the transition agreement for projects approved until 31.12.2016, which also operate according to the system of a fixed feed-in price, will also end. Projects, that were not completed up until now have to take part in the tendering procedures. The wind capacity that was approved in 2018 lies at 1420 MW.


The number of approved projects has drastically decreased. The state with the most approvals is still Lower Saxony, with an approved installation capacity of 746 MW, whereas Northrhein- Westphalia has 693 MW approved and Brandenburg 550 MW. The approved installation capacities for both Macklenburg- Vorpommern and Rheinland-Pfalz lie at 400 MW each. The approved capacities in other states are at 250 MW or lower.


With the scenario frame of the Transmission Grid Operators of 2019 for the revision of the Grid Development Plan of 2030, the golas of the climate and energy politics of the states tend to be similar to the expectations of the Grid Development Plan. There still exist several gaps between the golas of the states Baden- Württenberg, Rheinland- Pfalz, Hesse and Thüringen.







Exact postcode distribution of installed onshore wind capacity in Germany in 2018

Data sources: [Keiler and Häuser]; [Crawford and Hudson];



The illustration of the projects, which were covered but not yet approved, was not included, beacuse there exists a low probability of implementation due to the offered prices in view of the price levels in the auction rounds of 2018. Instead, it is more likely for approved projects to take part in new auction rounds, in order to achieve a higher compensation.





Wind power density 2018 and the federal states’ share of electricity generation

Data sources: [Keiler and Häuser][Crawford and Hudson]; [AEE]