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Onshore wind energy in Germany was extended by a net capacity of 1,892MW in the first half of 2016, representing a growth of 73 per cent over the same period the previous year (1,093MW). Factoring in the number of dismantled turbines and the 161MW of repowered turbine capacity in the first six months, this gives a gross capacity increase of 2,053MW.

Taking projects that have already been granted planning permission into consideration, the industry associations VDMA Power Systems and German Wind Energy Association BWE predict a net volume of between 4,000 and 4,400MW for the whole year. The strong extension in the first half of 2016 has been driven by the allocation of suitable sites and priority areas. The zone allocations made in the federal states last year continue to have an effect. The German market is concentrating less on the coastal states, and developing in an increasingly balanced manner. The industry expects a similar level of growth for 2017 as in this year. By the end of May projects have been approved with a total volume of around 3,200MW. A large proportion of these will have been realised by the end of this year. Operators and official agencies are expecting a further surge of approvals by then. Whoever secures approval before the end of the year and erects their turbines in 2017 or 2018, will still get the legally fixed rates of remuneration for the power they produce.

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