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Is China outsourcing wind production to Germany?

- By Charlotte Stubben

New wind installations in Germany grew 30 percent in 2011. Now Chinese companies are building factories in Germany.

The Chinese subsidiary Jade Werke will begin production of steel fundaments for offshore wind parks in Germany as early as 2013.

The company is investing EUR 50 million in a production plant in Wilhelmshaven, with construction planned to begin this summer.

The offshore market is ready to take off
“Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear power is having profound effects on the wind energy industry. Growth rates in the onshore segment were strong last year, the policy framework has been improved, and the offshore market ready to take off,” said Anne Braeutigam, wind energy expert at Berlin-based Germany Trade & Invest.

Read more: Vestas inks 50 MW order in China

Last year, Germany installed 2,007 megawatts of wind energy capacity, bringing its total capacity to 29 gigawatts. By both measures, Germany is number one in Europe. The 30 percent growth of new installations still comes primarily from the onshore segment, but offshore wind will account for a growing share in the coming years.

Six offshore parks this year
This year alone, construction is expected to begin on six new offshore parks totaling 1,660 megawatts capacity along Germany’s North Sea and Baltic Sea coastlines.

“There are still technical hurdles, and the biggest challenge remains upgrading the energy grid. Given the current market conditions and new financing and R&D programs, it’s an excellent time for companies to invest in Germany to help resolve these remaining issues,” continued Braeutigam.

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