Germany’s northernmost and windiest state, Schleswig-Holstein, is this year poised to generate at least as much electricity from renewables as it consumes over a year, for the first time ever. Only eight years ago, the state generated around 30% of its electricity from wind, so a lot of progress has been made in a short time.
In addition, the largely rural state bordering Denmark plans to eventually generate as much as 300% of its electricity from renewables, or three times as much as it needs to use. Schleswig-Holstein can sell and send the excess to other areas where it’s needed. As a whole, in 2013 renewables met 25% of Germany’s domestic electricity demand. The government has a target of 40-45% by 2025.
Schleswig-Holstein already has 7,000 people working in the wind power sector, and major wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has facilities in the state. The state is home to over 200 businesses in the wind power sector and, as CleanTechnica has pointed out, a Master’s degree in Wind Engineering can even be undertaken there.
Overall, the wind power industry in Germany already provides over 96,000 jobs, and that number is expected to rise further as the heavily industrialized country pushes towards its substantial renewable energy targets.