Germany should scrap a 6MW capacity cap for pilot onshore wind turbines in the wake of its current amendment of the Renewable Energies Act (EEG), VDMA Power Systems, a group representing wind, hydro and thermal power plant manufactures, said.

Under the current rule, wind turbines exceeding 6MW need to take part in tenders to be installed, despite a strong increase in the capacity rating of wind turbines in the past four years.

“Innovation and technical advancement are essential for Germany as a location for wind turbine manufacturing,” VDMA Power Systems managing director Matthias Zelinger said.

“The special regulation for pilot wind turbines is intended to facilitate the development of innovative wind turbines and to support Germany as a research and development location.”

Pilot wind turbines should be able to be erected and tested when technological advances of machines require it, and not only once a turbine is successful at auction, the group stressed.

GE and Vestas have already launched onshore wind turbines with a 6MW rating, while models of rivals Siemens Gamesa, Nordex and Enercon (which also used to have a 7.5MW model) come close to that threshold.

Germany’s current rule goes against the idea of supporting innovation in Germany, VDMA Power Systems said, adding that technological leaps are occurring at an increasingly rapid pace.

The 6MW capacity cap is also part of EU rules for environmental and energy state aid, which VDMA Power Systems is also trying to amend together with WindEurope.