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IWR Expects 10,000 MW Of New Wind And Solar Capacity In Germany

Münster, Germany - The expansion of wind and solar power plants continues to make progress in Germany in the current year. The International Economic Forum for Renewable Energies (IWR) in Münster expects new wind and solar plants with a capacity of around 10,000 MW in Germany alone in 2022. Solar capacity in particular can increase significantly.

In Germany, renewable energies fed 12.6 billion kWh more electricity into the grid in the first eight months than in the same period last year. The high electricity prices, on the other hand, are the result of the massive outage of French nuclear power plants since the end of 2021 in combination with high gas prices.

Germany: 10,000 MW of new wind and solar capacity in 2022

At the end of 2021, wind power plants with a capacity of 63,726 MW and solar plants with a capacity of 60,189 MW (as of 28 August 2022) were in operation in Germany, according to data from the Market Master Data Registry of the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA). According to a current IWR forecast, wind and solar plants with a capacity of 10,000 MW will be built in the current year, with photovoltaic additions accounting for about 8,000 MW and wind energy for about 2,000 MW. The additional annual electricity generation potential from this new construction thus increases by another 12 billion kWh of green electricity.

"The market dynamics are highest in the solar sector this year, but the wind sector is slowly catching up, also due to the new start of offshore wind energy", says IWR Director Dr Norbert Allnoch in Münster. „Nevertheless, the pace of expansion can still be increased significantly. Allnoch: "It has now taken just over 10 years for annual photovoltaic expansion to match the previous record year of 2012, following the political shutdown of the German solar industry."

IWR: No electricity shortage discernible in Germany

There is no sign of a power shortage in Germany in 2022, according to the IWR. From January to August 2022 alone, 158.8 billion kWh (2021: 146.2 billion kWh) and thus 12.6 billion kWh or 8.6% more green electricity was fed into the German power grid than in the same period last year. This is according to an IWR analysis of data from European grid operators (ENTSO-E). The total amount of electricity fed into the grid by conventional and renewable plants from Jan to today (02.09.2022) is currently 330 billion kWh (same period last year: 322.8 billion kWh).

High electricity prices: Massive power outage in France and high gas prices

Since Christmas 2021, electricity prices on the exchanges have been climbing to previously unimagined heights. The reason was initially the unexpected failure of several nuclear power plants due to corrosion damage in France at the end of 2021, which led to high prices and also to a wave of bankruptcies among electricity providers in Germany. The technical and maintenance-related problems of the nuclear power plant fleet in France have not yet been resolved, on the contrary. The French electricity supplier EDF, for example, has repeatedly lowered its forecast for nuclear electricity in 2022, most recently to the lower end of the range of 280 - 300 billion kWh.

In 2021, French nuclear power production reached about 360 billion kWh, which means that in 2022 France will be short about 80 billion kWh, which will have to be covered by imports from neighbouring countries. The shortfall in nuclear electricity thus significantly exceeds, for example, Finland's annual electricity generation (2021: 69 billion kWh).

"The skyrocketing electricity prices in 2022 are not due to a lack of electricity in Germany, but are the result of expensive gas-fired power plants combined with a price-driving shortage of electricity in France, where 32 of a total of 56 nuclear power plants are currently shut down", says Allnoch.

Source: IWR Online, 05 Sep 2022