Germany is the “problem child” of the wind industry, with the gloomiest outlook among all of the world's wind markets, according to a biannual survey.
The country received the worst rating of any wind market since the April 2018 launch of WindEnergy Hamburg's WindEnergy trend:index (WEtix), which surveys more than 5,000 industry experts.
The overall mood in the international market continues to be positive, the survey concluded.
“The current market situation for the German onshore wind industry receives negative marks, with the mood three times as bad as in April 2019,” said WindEnergy Hamburg.
“Similarly, the assessment of the current situation in the offshore wind market is clearly in decline, dropping into the negative range for the first time.”
Asked how they assess the current development of framework conditions for German onshore wind, respondents gave a rating of minus 0.99 in a scale that ranged from minus 2.0 to a very positive 2.0. That was worse than the minus 0.26 rating given in April this year.
A government plan to introduce a minimum distance between new wind projects and settlements of 1km has soured the mood in the country.
"Germany must not fall behind — we are currently observing a loss of substance in the wind energy industry, which is a key sector for the country’s energy future,” said Wolfram Axthelm, head of German wind energy federation BWE and Matthias Zelinger, the head of VDMA Power Systems, a group representing wind OEMs.
“We call upon the Federal Government to return to a common sense industrial and climate policy, accelerate the permitting processes and expand site eligibility criteria for land-based wind energy projects, and to offer a short and long-term perspective to offshore wind.
“There is currently a risk of companies refocusing towards prospering markets that offer more promising conditions.”
The expert rating for Europe as a whole came in at 0.01 (down from 0.28 ), lower than North America (0.40), Asia (0.62), and the rest of the world (0.52).
Changed economic conditions are behind a worsening of the global assessment of the mood in the wind market, the researchers said.
The biennial WindEnergy Hamburg conference and exhibition will take place in the autumn of next year.