At 20% Below Expectations, Bavarian Wind Park Disappoints Its Small Investors

At BR Bavarian public broadcasting here, Judith Zacher writes how the Zöschingen wind park has lost the air under its wings and has disappointed investors. At the time it opened in 2013, it was Bavaria’s largest citizens-operated wind park. But the BR writes that “there’s not enough wind and the financial expectations can hardly be fulfilled.”

Back at the beginning of the decade when the park was under planning, there was considerable opposition to its construction. But the town’s mayor and the wind lobby prevailed and pushed the project through in 2011, in the wake of the German Fukushima hysteria. Moreover, studies and wind measurements showed there was enough wind to produce enough clean energy to make the project worthwhile. So construction was approved and the park with its 8 large turbines went into operation in the spring of 2013.

Only 1% return on investment

The Zöschingen project is called a citizens’ wind park because a number of citizens invested in the project with the hopes of seeing a strong return. However, Zacher writes at BR that those expectations have failed to materialize. Instead of the expected 9% return, the BR reports that investors received only 4.5% in the first year, and only a measly 1 percent over the following two years.

This seems to have become a typical story for many German wind park projects: big promises turning out to be huge disappointments. And every time the winners are few and always the same: the project planners and the land owner who makes easy money with leasing fees.

Wind has been much weaker than expected

So why isn’t the Zöschingen wind project delivering?

BR reports that although there have been productive months, overall wind energy output is still “20 percent below the expectations“. Before the project began, wind measurements had been taken over months, and three expert technical assessments showed the project would yield good returns. However since the wind park was built, the winds have not blown like they were expected to do. These things happen.

The BR report writes that the problem may have something to do with the turbines being located in a forest – too near to tree tops. Plant builder Georg Honold says the turbines should have been taller.

What’s left is a poor investment that has turned the landscape into an eyesore that everyone in the area will have to wake up and look at every day — for probably another 20 years.


20 responses to “At 2020 Below Expectations, Bavarian Wind Park Disappoints Its Small Investors”

  1. Dave Ward

    “The turbines being located in a forest”

    You ARE joking, aren’t you???

    1. DirkH

      They are much, MUCH higher than trees. Eiffel Tower like high. We’re very proud of them. They show our virtuousness.

      1. DirkH

        They say the axes are 120 m high. “We didn’t get permission for anything higher” says the builder. It is only an assumption that the bad performance is related to the rotor tips being too close to the trees.
        Well in any case: the expected performance is projected by “experts” so it’s really very simple: the investors got sold a bridge.

      2. Analitik

        The forest trees appear tiny vs the turbines;art1168893,3368026

        Was the farm reduced from the original plan? The Nordex press release talks of 10 turbines

        With rotor blades measuring almost 60 metres in length, the N117/2014 is to go into series production in summer 2012 and is one of the most efficient turbines for locations characterised by light wind speeds. As the wind farm is located in a forest, Nordex will be supplying a hub height of 120 metres, thus optimising the energy yield of the turbines.

        It doesn’t look like the optimisation has work out, despite the extra tall towers.

  2. John Larkin

    Just cut all the trees down.

  3. Bitter&twisted

    I have little sympathy with these brainless “investors”.
    Anyone with half a brain knows that “green” = “scam”.
    The few benefit at the expense of the many.
    It was ever so.

  4. John F. Hultquist

    In the simplest of terms, these small investors are not losing money but they are way behind many other better investments. One would need the exact dates of the investments to make a comparison with a stock or stock fund.
    A complex analysis likely would show a loss because of taxes, time involved, lack of liquidity, or other issues.
    Still, let’s call them “lucky.”

    1. DirkH

      1% a year AFTER SUBSIDIES means a breathtaking loss for the ratepayer , a redistribution from the have-nots to the investors. This state-mandated expropriation does not even the capital costs of the investors, all being measured in a currency where the central bank prints 100 bn EURO a month to try and devalue it! Madness piled on madness. At least we get iconic huge rotating propellers over treetops for it. You should see them! Man, this is so beautiful!

  5. John Silver

    You always get paid at the beginning of a Ponzi scheme.
    After that, there’s only total loss.

  6. gnome

    If it’s only 20% below expectations, expectations must have been pretty low to start with.

  7. sod

    They were expecting a 9% margin, now it is between 1% and 4%.

    They are still making a profit and the good news is, that those who joined the project were not doing it to maximise profits.

    So there is nothing extreme happening here. Just a windpark that is underperforming by a little. Do not worry and move on.

    1. DirkH

      sod 25. September 2016 at 11:40 AM | Permalink | Reply
      “They were expecting a 9% margin, now it is between 1% and 4%.”

      Well maybe they extra cheap credits. Maybe they are regime cronies who can borrow money at these rates.

      “They are still making a profit and the good news is, that those who joined the project were not doing it to maximise profits. ”

      So you promote unprofitable activities – which is of course the definition of WASTEFULNESS. Monetary wastefulness is of course indistinguishable from energetic wastefulness. The inability of wind parks to deliver a profit even in the face of their ongoing subsidation confirms that they are a breathtakingly wasteful activity.

      1. yonason
  8. DirkH

    Let’s have more fun with this.

    sod and people like that LOVE that investors don’t make a profit with wind turbines (even after being subsidized) because that shows how pure their heart is and how much they want to save the planet.

    But sod and people like that want as many wind turbines as possible. In order to achieve that they need the highest subsidies possible to lure investors into financing them (and sod constantly lambasts the ultra-Green government of SPD+CDU for stealing ONLY 30 BILLION EURO A YEAR from the Germans to throw them at wind turbine investors – that’s by far not enough for sod! Not green enough! No, we want 300 billion a year! SPD+CDU are EVIL for throwing only 30 billion a year at wind turbine owners!)

    Also, sod and people like that claim that, no no no, subsidies are not even necessary because wind turbines are already more profitable than all other forms of electricity production even without being subsidized.

    So what kind of mental special-abledness is this? It’s not logical; that’s for sure. Well at least the superficial level shows a complete lack of thinking or logic. But the underlying current is VERY logical and macchiavelistic: At any cost promote wind turbines!

    Now we can talk about the motive.
    a) sod works for these people (wind energy industry or wind energy related academia).
    b) he works for a movement that wants to wreck Germany ( a la Cloward-Piven plan)
    c) he loves wind turbines for aesthetic reasons.
    d) he thinks this will help to cool down Germany and/or the world and he thinks that Germany and/or the world are getting too warm. So this would be the warmunist hypothesis.

    Now let’s assume it’s d). Now do you think that sod’s belief in d) is based on logical thinking when he cannot even maintain a veneer of logic in his arguments for wind power?

    1. DirkH

      And I guess we can conclude it is NOT d).

      1. DirkH

        I forgot one.
        e) Power lust. Wind turbines is the classic example of “Government Ideas! So great they have to be mandatory!”

        So it’s possible that for sod an equally worthy undertaking would be forcing everyone to grow his own potatoes in his backyard. Or recycling his own urine into potable water. For *SOME* reason that government scientists will surely deliver once given a little bit of time. It’s just about the lust derived from terrorizing people.

        1. yonason

          Here’s another possibility.

          Some people collect stamps, other people tell lies for a hobby. The question is, does sod get paid to lie, or is he just doing it for the sheer pleasure of being deceitful?

  9. Gentletramp

    This is somewhat off topic, but today there are also very good news from Europe:

    Once again the Swiss voters destroyed extreme green demands for cutting down energy use and CO2 emissions in a national referendum by a majority of about 63 percent:

    This result is quite remarkable because Switzerland is the host of the IPCC headquarters and its public authorities; universities, schools and nearly all MSM (especially public radio and TV) are heavily infiltrated and ruled by green eco-zealots.

    So we see, despite all this powerful and daily propaganda, the majority of Swiss people are still not fooled into accepting the new totalitarian eco-religion.

  10. Billy

    With such a paltry return on investment in an active business there is little to no chance of a return of the invested capital. The shares are worth a small fraction of their initial cost and will become worthless as the equipment wears out.

  11. yonason

    I’m not saying global warming is a criminal conspiracy, but…

    You know, “for the children.”

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