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"Seize the opportunities now", by Hermann Albers, President, German Wind Energy Association in the Windfair Newsletter

The German economic miracle of the 1950s and 1960s had many parents. Entrepreneurial intelligence and courage were key drivers of the economy during that time. The automotive industry is a prime example. It became the leading sector in Germany, rose to th


Courage and spirited action also drove the pioneers who developed the first modern wind turbines in the 1980s. It is German companies that lead the global market. An export quota of over 75 percent in German wind turbine manufacturers underscores the high quality of German wind energy systems. At home, the industry is on the verge of becoming a central pillar of the high-tech sector. With a total of 105,000 jobs, the wind energy sector is already making a significant contribution to Germany’s prosperity today.

But with any economic development, it is the framework conditions defined by the state that make the difference between success and failure. Whilst the right framework conditions act as an engine for the economy, the wrong ones put on the brakes. The Renewable Energies Act (EEG) is such an engine. It has driven developments that now make it possible to quickly replace nuclear energy with existing technologies. The German Bundestag today adopted the amendment of the EEG, which will come into force in this form in 2012. Summary proceedings have introduced the amended EEG together with additional legislation designed to implement the withdrawal from the nuclear energy programme. The German Bundestag and Bundesrat have adjusted the drafts submitted by the Federal Government in key areas. Wind energy on land will clearly form the backbone of Germany’s future energy supply. Not only is this the most affordable renewable energy, but it also harbours enormous potential. A study by the Fraunhofer IWES commissioned by the Bundesverband WindEnergie showed that at the present state of technology, making available two percent of Germany’s total area will allow onshore wind to meet 65 percent of Germany’s energy use.

Today’s decisions were instrumental in determining whether we will slip behind in the field of energy technology or continue to offer products that can dominate the international markets. The latter is only possible against a strong domestic market. One thing is clear: The global hunger for energy is growing, and oil, coal and uranium are finite. There is no alternative to renewables. If we do not seize the opportunities linked to them, others will.

German Wind Energy Association (BWE)
Hermann Albers


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