The German government has passed the so-called ‘Easter Package’, the most profound change to energy policy in Germany since the introduction of competitive auctions in 2017, which aims for 80 per cent renewables in total electricity consumption by 2030.
Already from 2025 onwards, Germany wants to install 10 GW of new onshore wind energy every year alone. To deliver this expansion in onshore wind, the government proposal increases annual auction volumes to up to 12 GW. According to this trajectory, Germany would have 115 GW of onshore wind by 2030.
The package also increased the German offshore wind targets, meaning that Germany will build more than 10 GW of new wind every year from 2025.
The Government also estimates that a rapid uptake in electric vehicles (EVs) and the renewables-based electrification of industry and heating will lead to a total electricity demand of 750 TWh by 2030. By 2035 Germany aims to get almost 100 per cent of this electricity demand from renewables.
Central to the Easter Package is the definition of renewable energies as an overriding matter of public interest and public security. This will speed up the permitting of new renewables projects and reduce delays caused by legal appeals, and means grid planning will be aligned with the accelerated expansion of renewables – 36 new grid expansion and optimisation projects have now been added to the agenda.
To reduce the impact of rising electricity prices on businesses and households, the German government have decided to remove the EEG levy so far paid by the electricity consumer and start paying the support for renewable energy projects from the federal budget.
Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO, said: “Jawohl, Germany! The Easter Package is an outstanding package of measures that will drive the expansion of wind energy, both onshore and offshore. Big auction volumes. A clear long-term auction schedule. And crucially, major steps to simplify the permitting of wind farms – without which the targets would be purely academic. It is a great example for the rest of Europe.”
The Easter Package is not the last legislative change for wind energy in this political term. To reduce Germany’s dependence on Russian fossil fuel imports, Habeck pledged to move forward the announced ‘Summer Package’ to May. This package will include a national repowering strategy, new measures to ensure sufficient sites for wind energy, improvements to permitting, and a new strategy to harmonise the expansion of wind energy with biodiversity and nature protection.
Minister Habeck identified supply chain disruptions, rising international prices for raw materials and components as well as a potential shortage in sufficiently skilled workers as the main challenges to the expansion ahead. He pledged to collaborate closely with the German wind industry to overcome these challenges and to ensure the delivery of the ambitious new volumes.