Germany Channels 16% Of World Wind Power

While the United Kingdom has proclaimed itself world leader in marine energy, Germany is gunning for No. 1 in wind—and it’s going offshore to make it happen.

The government has announced completion of Baltic 1, a 21-turbine wind farm in the Baltic Sea. According to a press release, the project is now set to enter the commissioning phase, the final step before the juice begins to flow. Germany, said to represent over 16 percent of global installed capacity, now claims one-sixth of the world’s wind-energy production— 25,777 MW and 38 billion kWh at the end of last year, according to the release—with a lot more in the works. The country completed its first deepwater offshore wind farm just last year, but in addition to Baltic 1 on the way, there’s a project with 80 5-megawatt  turbines under construction 60 miles off the North Sea coast. Plus, more than 30 other wind farms have been approved.

image via EnBW

The publicly traded utility EnBW is behind Baltic 1, located about 10 miles off Germany’s northeast coast. It forecasts production of 48 megawatts from the farm.

As with Britain and its marine-energy push, the Germans are looking to produce more than energy with wind. They also see the opportunity to boost their economy with businesses that serve the wind-energy industry, including turbine manufacturers, component suppliers and service providers.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.