Renewable energy meets one-third of Germany's national electricity demand, with the largest share coming from wind-generated electricity. Germany has 28,217 wind turbines, which account for nearly 50 GW of installed capacity. In 2016, the new installed capacity was 4,993 MW, compared to 5,927 MW in 2015. New offshore wind power capacity declined, as expected, with an installed capacity of 4.15 GW in 2016. Due to a rather weak wind year, Germany’s wind sector produced 77.4 TWh of wind-generated electricity, compared to 79.2 TWh in 2015. The Renewable Energy Act (EEG 2017) was amended in 2016 and led to the first auctions in 2017.
R&D efforts continue to focus on increasing wind energy yields and reliability, as well as reducing costs. Projects seek to optimize production processes and develop taller towers and longer rotor blades for land-based wind energy. Offshore wake effects from the interaction between individual wind turbines and offshore windfarms are being studied, as are reducing the load on components, modifying drive trains, and increasing lifespans. In 2016, three research projects for setting up research oriented new test sites were approved in flat and complex terrain.