By 2020, the German government wants to generate 30 percent of electricity in Germany from renewable energies. The trade association for wind energy is estimating that, year-on-year, there will need to be 3,000 MW of rated power produced in Germany alone in order to reach this ambitious target stipulated in the Renewable Energy Act (EEG). Among those set to profit here are many of the exhibitors at AMB, the international exhibition for metal working which will be taking place September 18-22 2012 at the new Stuttgart Trade Fair Center beside the airport. Because the wind power plants first need to be built and the standards set are high.
According to current findings from the German Wind Energy Institute (DEWI) in Berlin, an additional 895 (2010: 754) wind power plants were built in Germany last year alone, with a power output of 2,007 MW (2010: 1,551). That is 456 MW more than in 2010, representing a growth of 30 percent in comparison to the previous year. The increase is thus estimated to be in line with the global market trend, which exceeded the predicted 40,000 MW by around 2,000 MW in 2011. Almost half of which, as was the case in 2010, was installed in China. Repowering, which describes the replacement of older installations with newer, more efficient ones, appears to be more popular. Hermann Albers, president of the National Association of Wind Energy (BWE) in Germany: "There has been a steady increase noted for several years now, as much as 30 percent in 2011, with repowering here making a significant contribution towards the new installations". More specifically: 170 old wind power plants with an installed output of 123 MW were replaced by 95 new ones with 238 MW (2010: 183).
Investments in wind energy are primarily benefiting the small and medium-sized companies. This was shown by a study carried out by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) specifically addressing offshore wind energy. "SMEs currently account for around 90 percent of the added value in the industry," explains Dr. Thomas Ull, SME Expert at PWC in Bremen. The corporate consultants came to conclusion that turnover generated from offshore wind energy will almost quadruple by 2021, increasing from €5.9 billion in 2010 to reach €22.4 billion. And it is not only the companies located relatively close to the coastline that profit here. Particularly in the area of plant engineering, which accounts for approximately 60 percent of revenue in the offshore value chain, almost 40 percent of manufacturers are based in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria or Baden-Württemberg. All of which are nowhere near the sea. However, there is significant expansion also expected on-shore, with plenty of municipalities, in particular, discovering the lucrative power of the wind.
This is all favorable data that highlights the wind energy industry as an increasingly lucrative market also for the German mechanical engineering industry and its suppliers. Six months before the trade fair even starts, many exhibitors are already certain that there will be plenty of representatives from the wind energy industry visiting the booked out halls. The trade fair program has been accordingly organized to cater for this.