Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck is speeding up: to become independent of fossil energy imports as quickly as possible, he has presented the so-called Easter package. This also includes an expansion of wind energy in Germany. By 2030, new power stations with a total capacity of 110,000 megawatts must be built. For comparison: last year the addition was only 2,000 megawatts. The minister does report that the number of permits had already increased in the first three months of this year. But because other countries also want to expand wind energy on a massive scale, there is a risk of a production bottleneck. If you disregard the highly isolated Chinese market, last year only factories with a capacity of 12,700 megawatts were produced worldwide. In the future, a sharp increase in demand can absorb the relatively scarce supply – usually causing prices to rise.
Production abroad is cheaper for the company
In such situations, countries that have their own production capacity are usually in the best position. This is precisely what Germany seems to be losing. The latest example of this: the Nordex factory in Rostock. Rotor blades for wind turbines are currently being produced there. The management wants to close the location before the end of this year. On the one hand, the reason for the move is cited as technical progress: in the future, larger rotor blades will be needed that could not be built in Rostock. But this is only half the truth. Because the company simply abandoned corresponding investments in Germany and instead expanded production in India and Brazil. This was in turn justified by the stiff price competition in the industry. From the company’s point of view, this is not entirely implausible – after all, losses have been incurred in recent years and most orders came from abroad anyway.
The solar industry has already migrated to Asia
However, the development poses a threat to Germany as a business location. Logistical costs have also risen sharply in recent years. Sending huge rotor blades from India or Brazil to Germany is therefore not a cheap pleasure. The planned expansion of wind energy could therefore become considerably more expensive. Minister Habeck has therefore already met with the energy sector and discussed domestic production. A scenario like that of solar energy must be avoided. This was once a thriving industry in Germany, but then migrated almost completely to Asia. Habeck now wants to put a stop to this trend in wind energy and does not shy away from state aid. Talk about cheaper loans and guarantees. Even direct state participation seems conceivable. However, it remains to be seen whether this will be enough to keep production in the country.