Wind power

Wind energy or wind power is a renewable energy source. Thereby the kinetic energy of wind, thus moving air mass to the atmosphere, used technically. Wind energy has been used since ancient times to make energy available from the environment for technical purposes. While it has been used in the past especially with windmills and sailing ships, today is generated by wind turbines is by far the most important form of wind energy. On good sites, the competitiveness is now given with conventional thermal power plants. The end of 2012 more than 200,000 wind turbines were installed worldwide in 100 countries with a total of 282 GW rated power, which could mathematically almost cover with around 580 TWh annual production the entire German electricity demand of 594.5 TWh, or more than 3 % of global electricity demand. More modern forms of use are for example found in the mostly non-commercial sailing ships and leisure essence as in gliding.

  • 2.3.1 Wind Power Prediction
  • 2.3.2 Control Energy Requirements
  • 2.3.3 Reactive power control
  • 2.4.1 Electricity production costs and competitiveness
  • 2.4.2 promotion
  • 2.4.3 Impact on the electricity price
  • 2.4.4 Avoidance of external costs
  • 2.5.1 Future Security
  • 2.5.2 Space Requirements
  • 2.5.3 labor market effect
  • 2.5.4 Social acceptance
  • 2.5.5 Climatic effects
  • 2.6.1 Global Stats
  • 2.6.2 Germany Historical Development
  • Statistics
  • Developments in the individual states

History of Wind Energy

The wind energy is used for its purposes for thousands of years by humans. An important feature was the wind when moving to first with sailing ships (see also: sailing), significantly later for aviation with balloons. Also, the wind power for performing mechanical work with the help of windmills and water pumps was used.

In Europe in the 19th century there were some 100,000 wind turbines, which achieved up to 25-30 kW power under good wind conditions. In France, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Finland, there were in the first half of the 19th century 50000-60000 windmills, in 1900 alone on the North Sea about 30,000. In particular, in the Netherlands windmills were widespread, here there was in the second half of the 19th century alone, about 9,000 mills. Applications were next to the grinding of grain, cotton spinning and fullery, also served the mills as a source of strength for the pushing of leather, sawing wood, the production of oil, paper and tobacco and the draining of wetlands or below the sea level land.

In Germany the number of windmills first increased during the Industrial Revolution to industrialization further and reached in the 1880s a climax. Thereafter, the windmills were gradually replaced by fossil fuel power sources and electrical drives and their number declined again. 1895, in Germany around 18,000 windmills in operation. 1914, at the beginning of World War 1, the number of wind mills is estimated at about 11,400 in 1933 were 4,000 and 5,000 windmills available. Also played an important role wind pumps as they were widespread, especially in the form of the much -wing Western wind turbine with a capacity of a few 100 watts. Until about 1930 over six million Westernmills were produced, of which about 150,000 are still present.

After the discovery of electricity and the invention of the generator and the idea of ​​the use of wind power for energy production was close. Initially, the concepts of the windmills were only modified and instead of the conversion of the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical energy electric energy was produced by a generator. With the advancement of fluid mechanics and the bodywork and wing shapes were more specialized. Since the oil crises in the 1970s, research is being conducted around the world increasingly looking for energy alternatives and therefore also the development of modern wind turbines has been driven.

Electricity generation by wind energy

Wind turbines can be used to generate electricity in all climates, at sea and in all landforms (coastal, inland, mountain ). Therefore, it is often only distinguished between the use of wind energy on land and at sea in the use of offshore wind farms. So far, especially the onshore wind energy is important, while the offshore wind energy globally with a share of 1.9% of installed capacity yet still ekes out a niche existence. In the long term is expected to dominance of the onshore sector, but with increasing proportion of offshore installations. So, for example, is The IEA believes that by 2035 around 80 % of the annex will be made on land.

Physical Basics

When power is necessary to distinguish between the electrical power rating, which is due to the technical design, and the actual recoverable yield at the site, which still results from a number of other factors. When planning data from weather observations (wind speed, wind direction ) are used to calculate from a forecast. These forecasts are averages and may vary due to weather conditions on the results of the individual years. Long-term considerations are essential for a large-scale use of wind power, the planning of power networks and storage capacities.

Usable in electric power P power from the available wind can be calculated from the kinetic power supply of the mass flow of air, multiplied by the efficiency according to Betz, from the flow losses ( friction component in the Navier -Stokes equations ) and the mechanical ( frictional losses in the transmission and the camps of the converter ) and electrical efficiency of the system:

The symbols mean:

η: efficiency, see description above

A: cross-sectional area of the rotor

ρ: density of air in kg / m³

ṁ: mass flow of air in kg / s

V: average velocity of the air in m / s

P: power of the converter in watts

Thus, the achievable power increases with the cube of the wind speed. The wind speed is therefore important for their use as well as a key factor for the economy.

The frequency distribution of wind generated power can be well approximated by the log-normal distribution. The same distribution type also describes the frequency distribution of wind speed. (Note: The power generated from the PV can be described by the log - normal distribution. )

The strong weather dependency of electrical energy generated from wind power can be derived from the second diagram. Because of the high variability is the most accurate possible forecast of the expected supply from wind power sources are essential ( see also Article wind power prediction ) in order to make an appropriate planning and distribution in the electric power grid can.



2009 determined researchers at Harvard University under conservative assumptions, the global wind energy potential and came to the conclusion that it exceeds the world's energy needs far: the former demand for electrical energy to 40 times, the total energy consumption by 5 times.

Worldwide offers ground-level wind energy potential theory for more than 400 terawatt power, the energy of the upper-level winds would additionally be used, even 1,800 terawatts would be impossible, such as 100 times the current global energy demand.


The drawn up by the Renewable Energy Agency in 2010 ' Potential Atlas Germany ' came to the conclusion that wind turbines could meet to 0.75% of the land area 20% of Germany's electricity needs in 2020.

Published in 2013 the Federal Environment Agency a study on the nationwide area and power potential of onshore wind energy. The potential was modeled by the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology on the basis of detailed spatial data and modern wind turbine technology. Thus are based on the assumptions made in principle 13.8 percent of Germany's total area for wind energy use. This surface potential allows an installed capacity of around 1,190 GW, with an annual electricity yield of about 2,900 TWh. The realizable potential of wind power on land but is estimated considerably smaller, because different aspects were not considered in the study (eg, species conservation law concerns or economic conditions ).

After Volker Quaschning the potential of onshore wind energy is located in Germany, even under restrictive land use criteria at 189 GW. Thus, 390 TWh / a could produce and thus cover about 60 % of Germany's electricity needs.

Deployment Security

Wind power forecasting

Wind energy is part of an energy mix and is only one column of renewable energy. Their main disadvantage is the irregular, fluctuating with the wind power output, which must be compensated by a meaningful power plant management. In strong winds, a wind turbine generates 100% of its rated power ( = full load), during a lull 0%. Decisive, however, is the sum of the input energy over larger areas, since average out the fluctuations of the respective wind speeds by a combination of wind turbines at various sites partially each other. 2012 was, for example, the maximum ( measured on January 3, 2012) onshore supply in Germany with 24 086 MW of about 78 % of the total installed power rating.

Other renewable energies can have a balancing effect and have partly an offsetting supply behavior. The average curve of the feed-in of wind power plants in Western Europe shows the average daytime values ​​higher than at night and higher in winter than in summer, it thus follows over the day as well as seasonally required in each case the power requirements. Nevertheless, it can be very high or almost zero in a whole control area for a few days the amount of energy produced wind.

Meteorological forecasting systems make it possible to estimate the wind farms fed into the electricity grid by wind power prediction in the range of hours to days in advance. With a forecast period of 48 to 72 h h, accuracy is 90 %, with a 6- hour forecast more than 95 %. So few regelenergieliefernde power plants are required to maintain a trouble- free electricity offer.

Since the amendment of the Act on Granting Priority to Renewable Energy Act (EEG ) on 1 July 2004, the control area operator for immediate horizontal balancing of wind power feed are required. If the total power currently viewed by more than 22,000 wind turbines in the German electricity grid, this results in a very slow sum hydrograph. The large averaging of many systems, spatial distribution and different investment behavior leads already in individual control zones to (except of extreme weather conditions ) that the fluctuation of wind power generation can be balanced with medium load power plants. Expensive control energy (primary and secondary control ) is not usually needed. This is evidenced, for example, studies on the created on behalf of several public utilities " typically market - report" (October 31, 2003 BET Aachen ). For a market-relevant connection between wind power generation and control energy quantity and price there is no evidence.

Control energy demand

The amount of the reserve kept available performance depends heavily on the prediction accuracy of the wind, the control ability of the network and the time pattern of electricity consumption. In a major expansion of wind power generation, as it has been studied in the dena grid study for Germany, the need for control and reserve capacity ( medium load power plants ) will grow, but can be noisy study without new power stations (ie only with the existing power plants ) covered be. A newly installed capacity of wind turbines does not automatically lead to a reduction of the then poor busy, controllable as required, power plant capacity. Due to the irregular nature of wind obtained with the wind turbines electrical energy can be used only in conjunction with other energy sources or by stores such as pumped storage power plants or conversion to wind gas for a continuous energy supply. By forecasting the supply and exchange within and between the transmission system operator ( TSO zones ) the fluctuating power generation in the interaction has to be balanced with other power plants as the normal fluctuations in consumption. For Germany it is according to a study of DENA currently ( 20XX ) 20-25 % maximum share in only moderate expansion of the network infrastructure. Other ways in the future to increase the share of wind power in the total power generation to such a value addition are:

  • Gain and meshed high-voltage network with neighboring control areas over moderate expansion beyond
  • Demand Side Management ( temporary shutdown or delayed operation is not absolutely necessary consumer - see load shedding )
  • Energy storage, for example, pumped storage power plants and compressed air storage power plant or storage after conversion as wind gas
  • Design of wind turbines on a higher capacity factor by increasing the rotor surface at constant rated power
  • Increase in installed power rating and temporarily shutdown at power excess

2013 predicted a study by the NREL, the additional cost of the increased regulations and startup and shutdown of conventional power plants due to a higher feed-in from wind and solar energy. With a 33% share of this fluctuating energy sources in the total supply would increase the operating costs of conventional power plants by 2-5 % in the Western United States, according to 0.47 to 1.28 $ / MWh. Thus the additional cost of 35-157 million U.S. dollars would amount, while savings of about 7 billion U.S. dollars would result from the savings in fuel. Compared with the savings from the increased operation of wind and solar systems, the increase of carbon dioxide emissions through increased regulations in the amount of 0.2 % is negligible.

Nevertheless, it may due to limited network capacity, particularly during storm phases locally or regionally come to switching off or throttling of Investment (" speed regulation "). 2010 went so in Germany 150 GWh lost, 2011, there were 407 GWh. This corresponded to 0.4 and 0.83 % of the fed in the respective years wind energy. The operators are compensated for such production cutbacks by the Renewable Energy Sources Act; electricity consumers pay for not injected current. The cost of this is, depending on the reasons for the shutdowns are at 18 to 35 million euros.

In numerous, mostly diesel -based stand-alone grids with wind power supply (Australia, Antarctica, Falklands, Bonaire ), are also used in addition to the Demand Side Management batteries and partly flywheel storage for short and medium term grid stabilization and optimization, with relatively poor efficiency for economic reasons (reduction the very expensive diesel current portion ) can be accepted. Storage of wind power by hydrogen electrolysis and combustion (see hydrogen storage, hydrogen economy ) and flywheel storage was tested in a pilot project on the Norwegian island of Utsira.

Reactive power control

Older speed rigid wind turbines with induction generators, (i.e., from the 1970s to the early 1990s) were used in the early phase of wind energy use, sometimes have properties that can prepare for major development problems in network operation; This especially refers to the so-called reactive current. This can be remedied by reactive power compensation; Modern variable speed systems with electronic power inverters can set arbitrarily according to the requirements of the network and also counteract voltage fluctuations the reactive current component anyway, so they can even help to stabilize the grid. In the course of the so-called repowering many old plants has been reduced.


Electricity production costs and competitiveness

In modern wind energy is a technology that is coming to its beginnings in the late 1970s, only since the 1990s, to a greater extent used. The potential for improvement is therefore only gradually through economies of scale as a result of further research and the now well-established with most manufacturers industrial mass production, so still could be a significant cost reduction potential exist due to technical improvements. The biggest cost factor in the wind power generation are the relatively high initial investment in equipment; operating costs (including maintenance, if necessary, location rent) and the deconstruction are relatively low. Practically, most inland sites economically viable; Wind turbines on good onshore locations are competitive since before 2008 without subsidies with conventional power plants.

According to Fraunhofer ISE (as of 2013) Wind turbines can on good locations to lower electricity generation costs - up to 4.5 ct / kWh - produce as new coal and gas power plants, the electricity production costs of 6.3 cents / kWh to 8.0 cents / kWh or have. 7.5 ct / kWh to 9.8 cents / kWh. Remain favorable lignite power plants with 3.8 ct / kWh to 5.3 cents / kWh. Total electricity generation costs of wind energy vary depending on location quality between 4.5 ct / kWh on very good and 10.7 ct / kWh to very poor sites. As a very poor location is considered a Windhöfigkeit of 5.3 m / s average wind speed at 130 m hub height.

Offshore investments are, however, due to the larger construction costs as well as higher financing and operating costs despite more hours at full load significantly more expensive, their electricity production costs are (as of 2013) at 11.9 to 19.4 cents / kWh.

Similar figures provides a 2013 study published in the German Wind Guard, which deals exclusively with the onshore wind energy in Germany. In this study (150% of the reference yield ) were calculated electricity production costs of 6.25 ct / kWh on very good locations. On poorer sites, the electricity production costs rise. At an average cost structure and rate of return expectations of the operator sites are up about 80 % of the reference yield as profitable. On these sites, electricity production costs of about 9 cents / kWh can be achieved, which corresponds roughly to the current feed-in tariff for wind turbines paid. Between 2010 and 2013 the electricity production costs declined on weaker sites, adjusted for inflation by about 11% per year on good sites by 5.2 % per year. Further cost-cutting potential is identified in the development of systems engineering and in particular in the design of wind turbines with larger rotor diameters and hub heights.

These assumptions are supported by Bloomberg. Thus, wind turbines are in some states with good wind conditions and relatively high electricity costs, such as Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Portugal and the United Kingdom already capable of competing against conventional power generators. By 2016, grid parity will be achieved also in some other areas with moderate wind conditions. For Australia, Bloomberg calculated, for example, in February 2013, that wind turbines of a wind farm could produce significantly cheaper than new-build coal or gas power plants. Thus, the electricity production costs of a new wind farm would be in the equivalent of 80 Australian dollars per MWh, while coal-fired power plants with 143 A $ and gas power plants with A $ 116 had significantly higher electricity production costs. In the latter, the cost of CO2 Austoßes were included in the calculation, these were established in Australia with 23 Australian dollars per tonne of CO2.


In order to facilitate the desired investment in wind energy even at sites with lower Windhöffigkeit, they are promoted regardless of their political orientation in many states. Possible promotion measures are:

  • Promotion of research and development
  • Promotion of prototypes and demonstration objects
  • Partial takeover of the investment costs
  • Cheaper loans
  • Tax benefits ( such as PTC in the U.S.)

The most important criterion for the development call Gasch et al planning security, as it is mainly achieved at minimum price systems based on feed-in tariffs. Getting this legislation were enacted in 1981 in Denmark, in Germany in 1991 and in Spain in 1993 and led there to a long-term and stable development of wind energy. As little purpose, however, quota systems are as they existed in England until 2002 in France; their success is " moderately to zero " estimated at. Meanwhile, many states set to minimum price systems (eg, such as Germany, Spain, Austria, France, Portugal, Greece, Great Britain ), because in this way more installed capacity is achieved.

The feed-in tariff for wind power in Austria is 7.8 ct / kWh. 2013 was the initial compensation paid under the EEG in Germany for at least 5 years for onshore wind energy 8.80 ct / kWh; the basic remuneration paid after expiry of the initial tariff was 4.80 cents / kWh. Both fall by 1.5 % annually.

Impact on the electricity price

The wind energy as a renewable energy contributes to the merit-order effect and lowers by the displacement of conventional power plants the electricity price on the stock exchange. However, the merit-order effect does not consider the long-term changes in the composition of power plants, so that sustainable outcomes in terms can not be determined unequivocally on the price of electricity by the said effect.

Is fed to windy days much generated from wind power electricity, the wholesale price decreases on the electricity exchange. Is little wind energy is available, the price rises on the power exchange. The current price cut by wind energy is created by the statutory purchase obligation for producing wind power. Is a lot of electricity from wind energy available, the use of expensive conventional power plants, especially gas power plants (" marginal cost " theory ) is reduced, which leads to a drop in prices on the electricity market. In 2007, this price-dampening effect was about 5 billion euros. In Q2 2008, costing current at the Leipzig electricity exchange in the Middle 8.495 ct / kWh, but was including through the increased supply of renewable energy by 2012 to about 4 cents / kWh back.

Avoidance of external costs

Compared to conventional power generation forms, the wind energy at much lower external costs. This is not around at the current prices with influent damage effects of greenhouse gas emissions, air pollutants, etc., for example, to in climate change, say health and material damage as well as agricultural yield losses. In coal-fired power plants are the external costs in the range of 6-8 cents / kWh in combined cycle power plants at about 3 cents / kWh. Renewable energies are mostly below 0.5 ct / kWh, photovoltaics in the range of 1 ct / kWh. Taking account of these external costs arise for the wind power significantly lower total costs than for conventional energy and thus economic savings.

So a total of about 9.1 billion euros were for example in 2011 in Germany by the Renewable Energy savings in external costs. Since the measurement of external costs and benefits, however, is not unique to quantify due to different methodologies, older studies came with data that are newer than 2004 different results.

Political and ecological aspects of today's use

Future security

Like other renewable energy is the energy of the wind humanly unlimited time available, and is thus in contrast to fossil fuels and nuclear fuels permanently available. Also arises in the use of wind energy, almost no environmental impact caused by emissions, making the wind energy as an important component of the energy transition and sustainable and environmentally friendly economy is considered. Due to their very low CO2 emissions it is also considered an important tool in the fight against global warming. There is also in wind energy, no risks of large or extremely large environmental damage, such as in nuclear energy as a result of a serious accident.

Another argument of the proponents is the worldwide availability of wind. From a promotion of wind energy they hope to bring about justice, since States could achieve a higher degree of self-sufficiency through to self-sufficiency in energy supply without energy resources in this way, particularly against the backdrop of rising prices for fossil fuels.

Modern wind turbines have a short energy payback time of only a few months.

Space requirements

Wind turbines have only a very small footprint, since the actual energy production takes place in height. Even compared to other forms of energy, the wind energy utilization at a comparatively low area requirement; starts from about 0.4 ha ( 4,000 m²) per wind turbine. The foundation area of modern turbines in the 3 MW class is about 350-500 m², the largest currently constructed wind turbines of the type Enercon E-126 are located at a power of 7.6 MW at a base area of ​​about 600 m². In addition, when using a mobile crane, the crane footprint with a space consumption of approximately 0.3 ha, which is permanently maintained during operation of the plant. Come to the construction of the plant, a tower crane used, reduces the space required for the installation of the crane and the wind turbine to approximately 0.12 ha also may remain as construction or upgrading of access roads to the plant are necessary also during the construction phase temporarily a demand area of ​​0.2-0.3 ha for storage and possibly pre-assembly of plant components required.

Overall, the land use of wind turbines in Germany was in 2011, around 100 km ². For comparison: in German Braunkohletagebauten were without power plants around 2,300 km ² moved and consumed; the share of lignite in the German electricity consumption was 2012 at about three times the wind power generation. Assuming an electricity production of 6-8 million kWh annually and an area of 4,000 m² consumption, which are typical values ​​for a modern inland plant of 3 MW class, the result is a power output of 1500-2000 kWh per m² total area. In high-wind locations of the area yield is much higher. This is the land productivity ( yield per acre ) of wind energy at about one thousand times of biogas plants.

Labor market effect

Worldwide, around 670,000 people were employed in the wind energy industry in 2010, nearly three times as many as in 2005 ( about 235,000 ). In Germany, the industry offered 2009 95.600 people work (only onshore wind energy ). The jobs are there both on production and on the operation of the plants, which in addition to production sites cities and communities in which service providers and suppliers are settled share, in value added. According to a study by the Institute of Economic Structures Research ( GWS), the employment effects extend over all states, not only to the predominantly located in Northern Germany centers of removal. According to this study could by 2030 more than 165,000 people work in the onshore wind energy.

Social acceptance

In principle, in favor of a large part of the population, the use of wind energy as a series of representative surveys found. This is also the case when specific facilities are to be erected in the vicinity of the persons interviewed. In particular, the consent to the use of wind energy lies in regions where wind turbines are already in place, higher than where the population is not yet familiar with the use of wind energy. However, despite the generally broad support wind energy use is not without controversy, which is why it comes, inter alia, for the establishment of citizens' initiatives against planned projects again and again. In Bavaria, the Prime Minister Seehofer calls for a distance of 2 km for large wind turbines to the next settlement.

Modern wind turbines today have a much larger hub height than before. Due to the larger rotor to rotate even more slowly than in the past (for large systems, the rated wind speed is only around 10-15 revolutions per minute), which is perceived by many people as quiet. As part of the so-called repowering eg three or four older small turbines are replaced by a new large-scale facility; this still usually has a higher performance than replace existing systems. The " disfigurement " of preparation areas thus decreases subjective.

Climatic effects

A 2010 published climate model calculation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology projected that regional would be expected detectable climate effects, 10 % of global energy needed in 2100 would be generated by wind power. On land was to be expected with a warming to a cooling lake.

According to a 2009 published flow model calculation Stanford University would wind turbines, they should cover the entire present world energy demand, reduce the energy content of the lower layer of air by about 0.007 %. However, this was at least an order of magnitude smaller than the influence of colonization and by aerosols from waste gases. The effects of heating by electricity with wind turbines are much lower than the waste heat from thermal power plants.

International Development

Global Stats

International include the People's Republic of China, USA, Germany and Spain among the largest producers of wind power. Austria at the end of 2012 with 1378 MW at number 22, Switzerland with an installed capacity of 50 MW at No. 52 The states with the highest proportions of wind energy in the national electricity consumption (based on an average wind year, as of 2011) are, according to EWEA Denmark with 25, 9%, Spain 15.9 %, Portugal 15.6 %, Ireland with 12.0% and Germany with 10.6%. According to Danish Energy Agency was Denmark in 2011 even 28.1 %.

The end of 2012, worldwide installed capacity of 282 GW has a power generation potential of 580 TWh / a, which corresponds to just over 3% of world electricity consumption. The potential of about 106 GW, which were installed in late 2012 in the EU, is in an average year at 230 TWh, corresponding to 7% of EU electricity demand.

In Germany, Denmark and Spain, there were over a year supported by the political will of uniform development of wind energy. This has led to the development of a new branch of industry in these three states. In 2009, the leading producer with sites in Germany still had a share of more than 36 %, two years later had reached a 36% share of the world market alone, the five largest Asian companies. Overall, the top ten companies in the wind energy industry, covering around 80 % of global demand. Germany is one of the main exporters of wind turbines.

2013 35.467 MW worldwide were newly installed, of which 16,100 MW, almost half in the People's Republic of China.

Source of chart data


Historical Development

Crucial for the boom of wind energy in the Federal Republic of Germany was the Electricity Feed Act of 1991, which required the power grid operators to purchase the electricity generated. This entry promoting technology in renewable energy was extrapolated from the autumn of 1998 to the autumn of 2005 existing Red-Green Federal Government in 2000, the Renewable Energy Sources Act ( EEG) with limitations. The law ensures the operators of wind turbines previously fixed payments as consideration for the injected current. The fixed price compensation related EEG has led to a major expansion of wind energy in the Federal Republic of Germany. The end of 2003 about half of the total European wind power capacity ( 28,700 MW) was installed in Germany, ten months later, two-thirds. Meanwhile, other European countries have caught up, so in 2013, the German contribution to the European wind power capacity was only about 30 %.

The general subsidy allegation against the wind energy refers generally to the EEG support. The fact that it is no aid within the meaning of the EC Treaty in transfers from the EEG, was confirmed by the European Court of Justice ( ECJ), made by decision of 13 March 2001 C-379/98. Also, the subsidy term, according to § 12 of the Stability and Growth Act is not met by the EEG. The economic effects of the EEG and of subsidies comparable or similar.

Other benefits which are granted to operators of wind turbines currently are:

  • At the request exemption from the electricity tax for reference current ( total nationwide less than 100,000 € in 2004)
  • Credit subsidies from the KfW bank group. Cheap loans for investments aimed, for example, medium-sized companies or private households for building renovations. Also, operators of wind turbines can apply for funds. However, this is time-consuming and inflexible repayment in the repayment, which is why ( Stabd 20xx ) is often waived. The yield advantage of these loans is attributed to the interest on the open capital market and evaluate as a subsidy. With a yield advantage of 0.5 to 1 % was found for 2003, a subsidy of wind energy from an estimated 18.5 to 37 million euros.

Investment grants from federal and state governments for the construction of wind turbines are not granted since the late nineties. Fiscally, there are no special rules for the operation of wind turbines that are different from other moveable assets.


In this section, only statistics of wind energy use are listed. General statistics on renewable energy can be found here.

Germany had installed by the end of 2007, with 22,247 MW of installed capacity, the highest world, in 2008 it was surpassed by the U.S. and finally in 2010 of China. The end of 2012 were in Germany 22,962 wind turbines with 31.3 GW in operation. In the development of wind energy, the German industry is an international leader, although Germany is now no longer the largest wind energy market. With Enercon, Siemens Wind Power, Senvion, Nordex, the Bard Holding and transit countries several wind turbine manufacturers are based in Germany, more active in the wind industry companies such as Vestas and General Electric operate plants in Germany. In 2010, the export share of the industry was 66 %.

The load shown in the table is smaller than in reality. This is because the newly installed wind turbines in one year can not contribute a full year for total annual energy yield. In general, two -thirds of the new plants will be installed during the second half of the year.

The IWET wind index was 74 % in 2010; only 37.8 TWh of electricity from wind energy is produced instead of the expected 50.5 TWh. This represented about 6.2 % of gross electricity consumption. Wind energy is above the biomass (2009: 5.2%, 26.0 TWh installed at 4,520 MW ), the most important source of renewable energy in electricity generation.

The date (November 2013) the highest in a month in Germany fed by wind power electricity was achieved in December 2011 with 8 billion kWh. The highest performance and the highest daily energy production was reached in December 2013 during the hurricane Xavier. On 5 December 2013, the maximum output was 26.3 GW, on 6 December 2013, a total 563 GWh of electrical energy produced from wind energy, thus achieved an average capacity of approximately 23.5 GW.

Development in the individual federal states

Since the annual amount of wind varies, called a wind index is used as a mean. On this basis, wind energy components were calculated according to federal states by the German Wind Energy Institute DEWI:

The state of Schleswig- Holstein from 2020 plans to cover 300 % of its theoretical electricity needs through renewable energy, the wind energy will contribute the largest part.

Lower Saxony plans by 2020 90 % of the power to purchase from renewable sources, most of which will be covered by the onshore wind energy.

In North Rhine -Westphalia the black-yellow state government increased in 2005, the minimum distance for new-build wind turbines to the next building of 500 m to 1500 m. So they brought the construction of new plants almost to a standstill. In July 2011, the red-green state government loosened with a new ' wind energy adoption ' provisions, which had until then slowed the development of wind energy.

In the South German states of Baden -Württemberg and Bavaria and Hesse, the expansion of wind energy has been hampered by very large administrative exclusion surfaces and height limitations for investments, for example, which led only to a small annex on wind turbines. However, ever since the Fukushima nuclear disaster began rethinking, so now also in South Germany the development of wind energy is intensified. In Bavaria citizens have formed a community action to tackle the administrative obstruction of wind power by the Bavarian government in the legal way. The now green-red state government of Baden -Württemberg lowered with the " wind energy adoption Baden -Württemberg" the administrative hurdles.


Denmark was, inter alia, because of its due to the geographical situation of the country favorable wind conditions as well as the tradition of the use of wind energy, could be established institutionally and technologically in the 70's to the, the pioneer in the development of modern wind power technology (see also history of wind energy use). From Denmark, the use of wind energy in the 1970s spread worldwide. Already in 1981, a first feed-in law was introduced, the wind power producers a fixed price per kWh assured, creating investment. In 2012, the share of wind energy exceeded the Danish electricity consumption for the first time the 30 - % level. By 2020, according to the expansion plans of the Danish Government should be 50 %.

Denmark is both the onshore wind energy as well as wind power in the sea ( offshore wind ). In contrast to Germany, where most offshore wind farms are planned for the protection of the Wadden Sea as well as out of concern for touristic purposes far from the coast, the Danish wind farms are mainly found in coastal areas in shallow water. Significant offshore wind farms Horns Rev, Nysted and Anholt. In March 2013, installed in offshore wind farms plant output exceeded 1000 MW.


In Japan, as in Germany, a fixed rate for renewable energy. The remuneration for electricity from wind turbines is July 1, 2012, 23.1 yen per kWh (equivalent to 24 cents over the month ) significantly more than in other countries.


The end of 2012 were in Austria 763 wind turbines with a capacity of 1378 MW to the grid. Your standard capacity is about 2.4 TWh / year, representing about 5% of electricity production in Austria or the needs of about 630,000 average households.

2012 was additional 295.65 MW of wind power capacity, the strongest expansion year Austria. Three quarters ( 223 MW) were built in Burgenland. This was achieved in March 2013 in Burgenland for the first time targeted, computational power self-sufficiency.

For 2013, a further increase of the expansion of wind power is planned. More than 150 wind farms totaling 420 MW are to be built in 2013, of which 73 plants with 220 MW alone in Burgenland, a further 58 farms totaling 155 MW in Lower Austria.

The priorities of the Austrian wind energy are in Lower Austria and Burgenland. In Oberzeiring (Styria ) 2002 Austria's highest wind farm was built in 1900 m above sea level so far. It currently comprises 13 plants with a total capacity of 23 MW.


Portugal had built a wind power capacity of 4,083 MW at the end of 2011. The total electricity consumption of the wind power share was 15.6 %.


As of 1996 originated with the wind power plant in the Canton of Jura Mont Crosin the first powerful wind farm in Switzerland; it was removed in 2010 to a capacity of 23 MW. Europe's highest wind farm in Gütsch in Andermatt is since 2004 to 2332 m above sea level and has a total of 3.3 MW since 2012 four plants performance. Europe's highest wind power plant is set to 2465 m above sea level at the Gries dam in Valais; it is an Enercon E-70 2.3 MW power to be in favorable operating supplemented by other systems.

2012 88.1 GWh of wind power were produced in Switzerland. With the introduction of cost-covering feed-in tariff (FIT ) 2009 caused some extensions and new wind farms.


The development of modern wind energy in Spain began the mid-1990s, were introduced as government subsidies. These were politically motivated industry, with the creation of new jobs were in the foreground. In addition, the geographical conditions for wind power and low resistance by the population due to the low population density are rare. By 2006, Spain held the second place in terms of installed capacity with 11,630 MW around the world behind Germany. Since then, more than 11 GW were built over, but that could not prevent China and the U.S. by installed capacity to get passed the country. 2012 was Spain, with an installed capacity of 22.8 GW worldwide in the fourth place, thus it remains one of the leading wind energy users. In 2011, wind power plants supplied 41.8 TWh one into the Spanish power grid.

According to preliminary figures from the network operator Red Eléctrica de España was wind energy in 2013, the most important Spanish electricity producer. With a share of 21.1 % for wind energy was just ahead of nuclear energy with 21.0%, coal (14.6%) and large-scale hydropower ( 14.4 %). The total production in Spain was 246.17 TWh. Spain is, according to the wind power industry journal Windpower Monthly became the first country in which the wind is No. 1 on the production statistics.

With Gamesa one of the largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world has its headquarters in Spain. In addition, Iberdrola became one of the world's leading investor in the industry.

United States

2007 had installed more than 5,200 MW in the United States, the wind power industry. This was a growth of 45 % over the previous year. In 2008, the USA built to over 8,500 MW; The United States had 25,300 MW by the end of 2008, the world's largest installed capacity and thus refer Germany to the second place. The end of 2010 were installed in the U.S. 40.2 GW; the annual increase rate in 2010 eased because of the financial crisis from 9.9 GW in 2009 to 5.6 GW. In 2011, around 10 GW was added were predicted to have reached nearly 7 GW. In 2012, about 13,124 megawatts of new wind went turbines (WT ) to the grid. Thus, there was at the end of 2012 wind turbines with approximately 60,000 MW capacity in the United States. This was about 44 % of the energy capacity that the new U.S. built up in 2012.

Funding for Wind Turbines - as well as other forms of renewable energy - in the U.S. by Production Tax Credit; the amount of such tax credit is 2.2 US-Cent/kWh 2013. Although there are currently no offshore wind farms in the U.S., came wind turbines in 2011 to a comparatively high capacity factor of 33 %, corresponding to about 3000 full load hours.

People's Republic of China

First steps towards the modern wind energy there was in the People's Republic of China as early as in the 1980s, during the operation, Germanischer Lloyd, a test field in Inner Mongolia. In addition, small wind turbines was supported by funding programs, delivered to China to promote the electrification of the country. About a niche feature these projects, however, did not come out.

Since the mid- 2000s, wind power in the People's Republic is, however, greatly expanded. End of 2006, 2.6 GW were installed only to 2009, the capacity doubled every year ( end of 2009, 25 GW installed). 2010 19 GW were built over, so this year, about half of the world's tourist building boom performance was accounted for by China. By the end of 2011, 63 GW were installed; the performance of China's wind turbines was more than a quarter of the world's installed capacity of 238 GW.

According to the Global Wind Energy Council, China had end 2012 75.564 MW of installed wind turbines. They produced 100.5 TWh and for the first time more than the nuclear power plants in China ( 98.2 TWh).

More wind energy growth is expected. Thus, an extension to 200 GW by the year 2020.