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Hannover figure 1The Optimal Choice Between Continued Operation, Repowering and Decommissioning
More and more players in the German wind energy sector are concerned with the question of how to deal with the ageing German wind fleet, as around 5,200 turbines will simultaneously reach the end of the feed-in-tariff funding period of the Renewable Energy Sources Act for the first time at the end of 2020. Around 8,000 wind turbines will follow by the end of 2025, as shown in Figure 1. Operators of affected wind turbines will then have the choice between (I) continuing to operate the old turbine within the framework of direct marketing on the European Power Exchange, (II) repowering the old turbine by a new and more efficient wind turbine at plant-specific feed-in premium levels tendered in the German renewable energy auctions or (III) decommissioning the respective plant.
By Jan-Hendrik Piel and Martin Westbomke, Germany

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