Juwi eyes wind at home, PV abroad

Renewables developer Juwi claimed it cemented its position as Germany’s leading onshore wind project developer in 2013, while at the same time expanding successfully in PV EPC provision globally.

The Wörrstadt-based company in a dramatic strategy shift had all but ceased its German PV activities following sharp cuts in German PV support in 2012, moving to compensate for that with its global PV business.

At the same time, Juwi concentrates its wind power activities on Germany, where it installed about 350MW of new capacity in 2013. That is 14% of the about 2.5GW of new onshore capacity installed in Germany last year according to the Fraunhofer IWES institute.

Most projects installed were in Juwi’s home market in Rhineland-Palatinate, or in nearby Saarland and Baden-Württemberg, plus several projects in Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia. All of those are inland states in southern or central Germany, confirming a wider industry trend toward increased wind installations in Germany’s more moderate wind inland locations.

In 2012, Juwi had installed only close to 250MW of onshore wind in Germany.

Onshore wind remains the company’s main focus in its home market this year, with about 150 wind turbines in the pipeline with a total capacity of 400MW for 2014 alone.

In solar, Juwi has the ambition to be ranked among the world’s leading EPC contractors after shedding most of its German PV activities.

“We have successfully established Juwi in the global boom markets for solar energy. We are able to realize projects all around the world within a remarkably short time,” chief executive Matthias Willenbacher says, adding the company in coming years will continue to benefit from the booming PV expansion in Asia, South Africa, India, the Gulf region and Latin America.

The developer made significant inroads in the global PV EPC market already in 2013, when it built five solar parks with a combined capacity of 48MW in Thailand, and the 19.3MW Badger 1 solar farm close to Phoenix, Arizona.

Japan is one of the main expansion areas for this year after a joint venture between Juwi and Japan’s Shizen Energy commissioned three solar parks there in 2013. This year, two more projects with a combined capacity of 20MW are scheduled for commissioning in Japan during the first half.

In order to reach 20% of renewables in 2020, Japan has introduced the world’s highest feed-in tariff for solar power, according to Amiram Roth-Deblon, Juwi’s regional director for the Asia Pacific region.

“Japan is a fantastic market for solar energy,” he says. “Juwi Shizen Energy has a well filled project pipeline und will make a huge contribution to Japan’s transition towards a sustainable economy”, Roth-Deblon concludes.