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trueHUE® Water cooler stories
Germany has set some of the most ambitious goals of any nation for shifting from fossil fuels to greener energy. Now the centerpiece of that push—onshore wind power—is slumping, prompting the loss of tens of thousands of jobs and the bankruptcies of wind-power developers and turbine manufacturers.
Wind power, often seen as a clean, abundant energy source, has faced growing bureaucratic hurdles and acrimony in communities out to block the erection of new turbines.
Berlin’s Energiewende—or energy transformation program—has led to a total of 29,456 onshore wind turbines in the country. But the effort notched a net gain of just 243 turbines in 2019—55% fewer that were erected in 2018 and 80% fewer than in 2017, according to data from the wind-power industry.
The slowdown has already cost roughly 40,000 jobs in the past three years][
Last year, Hamburg-based wind-turbine maker Senvion became insolvent. Germany’s largest turbine maker, Enercon, is cutting 3,000 jobs.
A survey conducted by Mr. Quentin among wind-park developers last summer found that 325 wind turbines were facing legal action, with some 60% of cases brought by environmental groups.