Germany’s windiest area, Schleswig-Holstein, will probably achieve “100% renewable electricity” sometime this year. That is, its clean energy production will be able to supply all of its electricity consumption. Schleswig-Holstein has a goal to generate 300% of its electricity consumption with renewables eventually. This mostly rural area is grid-connected, so it can sell excess electricity and still use conventional power during periods when wind is not available.
The small state has about 7,000 wind power employees and the wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has facilities there. A German Wind Association report pegged the offshore wind power capacity by 2030 at about 25,000 MW and 4,000-6,000 MW for onshore. Wind power is such a significant part of the culture that there is a Master’s degree in Wind Engineering program available. (The area borders Denmark to the north and is between the North and Baltic seas.)
Eight years ago, it was reported that the state generated about 30% of its electricity from wind power, so there has been much progress.
Getting to 100% renewable electricity is a huge achievement, but it wouldn’t be a complete first in Germany. One German village produces over 300% of its electricity from renewables. The village of Feldheim gets all its energy from renewable sources as well, mostly wind and biogas. (Thousands of tourists have visited to see its green technology.)
There are over 190 clean energy sites in Germany, so many that a green destinations guide for tourists was written and sold out in its first printing. It will be curious to see if Schleswig-Holstein begins to attract more green tourists.
This article is dedicated to my grandmother who never went to Schleswig-Holstein, Germany but lived most of her life in the Holstein, Iowa, area and was one of the best people you would ever meet. She is 99 and in hospice.