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Wind lobby says Germany must do better as H1 onshore wind rises 62%

·2 min read

FRANKFURT, July 27 (Reuters) - German industry lobbies said on Tuesday the country is behind target even after it added 62% more onshore wind capacity in the first half of 2021 than in the same period a year ago, and it called for accelerated approval processes.

Wind power is central to Germany's transition to renewable energy. A government target for green energy to reach at least 65% of electricity output by 2030 would require 4,000 megawatts (MW) of additional wind capacity per year, according to a 2021 law.

Wind power lobby BWE and engineering association VDMA forecast the total will fall short, predicting 2,200 to 2,400 MW will be added in full year 2021.

The shortfall is greater if a revised forecast for national power consumption, issued this month, is taken into account, they said, as that would call for a total of 5,000 MW.

Even that might not be enough. A policy package proposed by the European Commission this month to reduce greenhouse emissions means the government formed after a general election in September should aim for a 6,000 MW target to overcome a decline since 2018, they said.

"There is still a rocky road ahead of us that urgently needs to be paved," Hermann Albers, president of wind power lobby BWE, said in a statement issued jointly with engineering association VDMA.

"An essential component for this is the improvement of the land and permitting situation," he added.

The groups' data for the six months showed operators installed 971 megawatts (MW) of new onshore capacity, representing a year-on-year net increase of 62% after accounting for dismantling and revamps of existing turbines.

This lifted total capacity to 55,772 MW at the end of June 2021, up by 2.5% from a year earlier.

Developers must tackle red tape, long-winded state consultations between federal and state authorities, nature protection laws, and opposition from local citizens who do not want disruption in their vicinity, they said. (Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Barbara Lewis)

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