Wind power is affordable and safe – but also faces tremendous challenges

President of the German Wind Energy Association has a few ideas about how to do things. She says that it’s all right thinking that 2013 was a good year – but it’s time to move on…

Sylvia Pilarsky-Grosch

Sylvia Pilarsky-Grosch, President of the German Wind Energy Association, says the wind sector faces tremendous challenges after the overall success in 2013. The German government plans to revise the Renewable Energy Act and specify target corridors for further growth. In both cases, the changes could pose risks for the energy transition’s future success.

Pilarsky-Grosch explains:

“Everyone who truly cares about the Energiewende now has to help make sure it actually moves forward. The new government’s coalition agreement is quite problematic because it leaves a lot open to interpretation. It was written in the spirit of hesitance and undecidedness.”

She points out that Germany has achieved a lot in the past few years, and the energy transition has provided momentum for innovation within German industry.

More than 24,000 wind turbines across Germany now produce clean electricity. Together, the various sources of renewable energy now cover 25% of power demand, with wind power making up the largest share at nearly 10 percent. Pilarsky-Grosch argues that this success must continue.

She said:

“Germany can prove that the energy transition is possible. But it requires courage. Over the next few months, we will repeatedly remind federal and state politicians of that.

“We need to redesign the power market. Variable wind and solar power should be the centerpiece, surrounded by flexible and, above all, local capacity. Here, there are great new opportunities for biomass and municipal utilities. We need a way to actually sell green power quality to consumers. The result would be regional marketing models with local power rates.

“And politicians have to find the strength to gradually decommission excess conventional capacity. Only a holistic package will stabilize prices and open opportunities for flexible gas turbines we will need for the future.”

She finished by saying that the wind sector has 118,000 employees:

“and a 67% export ratio; as an innovative industry, it contributes to the success of the label “made in Germany.” The BWE represents 1,100 manufacturers, suppliers, and service providers along with 2,100 operator companies, and 15,000 investors.”

As Pilarsky-Grosch puts it:

“It is up to all of us to make sure that the Energiewende continues.”



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