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Approvals down: slowing wind power expansion

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Status: 04/07/2022 07:32

Permit trend for new onshore wind turbines was down TOS-Search declined in the first half of the year. There are big differences between states. Experts see the federal government’s climate goals at risk.

By Marcel Kolvenbach and Nick Schader, SWR

The expansion of wind energy in Germany is still progressing slowly. This is based on an analysis of the data by TOS out. To this end, the number of permits for wind turbines in the first six months of the year was assessed in all federal states. There are extreme differences between federal states. While almost no new wind turbines have been approved in Bavaria (4) and Saxony (2), North Rhine-Westphalia (79) is in the lead. They are followed by the coastal states of Schleswig-Holstein (61) and Lower Saxony (57).

Across Germany, 311 new wind turbines were approved in the first half. This is a slight decline compared to the first half of 2021 (321). Compared to “strong” wind years, the regression is even considerable. Up to three times as many permits were issued in 2014 (895) or 2015 (699) as this year.

The energy transition in danger?

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection shared this TOS that between 1,500 and 2,000 wind turbines would have to be erected each year in Germany to achieve the German climate targets. There have been fewer than 500 in each of the past three years – and this year the trend isn’t much better.

The “Wirtschaftsverband Windkraftwerke eV” (WVW) expressed its disappointment with the current situation: “The WVW fears that the expansion targets of the federal government will definitely and significantly be exceeded. The number of permits and the number of wind turbines put in service remain at far too low a level. Not only is there no sign of an acceleration effect after the promising declarations of the coalition agreement, but even a step backwards.

One thing is certain: the number of current permits for wind turbines determines the expansion trend over the next few years. Because the wind turbines that are currently requested and approved are usually erected within the next two years. Conversely, this means that in countries where there are currently very few permits, there will be less expansion in the years to come.

Bavaria and Saxony bring up the rear

At TOS The Bavarian Ministry of the Environment has announced that it is “of course not a satisfactory situation” that only four wind turbines have been approved so far. There are several reasons for this. There are “problems of acceptance in the population” in Bavaria, and there is also “little use of municipal building management procedures to go below the 10H distancing rule”. This regulation stipulates that in Bavaria there must be a distance between the wind turbine and residential buildings of ten times the height of the wind turbine. This can only be reduced in exceptional cases.

Critics complain that the expansion of wind power in Bavaria came to a virtual halt as a result of this regulation. The Bund für Umwelt- und Naturschutz (BUND) hopes that Bavaria, among other things, can now be forced to expand by means of federal laws: “The ‘Wind on Land Act’ finally stipulates that all federal states must bring their contribution to the expansion of Individual distance rules for residential buildings, such as the 10H rule in Bavaria, cannot be maintained with this Fortunately, because in this way citizens of all federal states can again benefit from the energy transition, for example through regional electricity tariffs.”

The situation is similar in Saxony. Only two wind turbines have been approved here in the first six months. The Saxon Ministry for Climate Protection conceded: “We cannot be satisfied with the pace of expansion. We need much faster planning and approval processes. As the Ministry for Energy and Climate Protection, we have set up a renewable energy working group that deals with issues of space availability and speed of procedure. »

“Countries must end the blockade”

Regenerative energy expert Volker Quaschning of the Berlin University of Applied Sciences criticizes the fact that countries like Bavaria and Saxony block the expansion of wind energy: “Last year only eight wind turbines have been built in Bavaria, and wind turbines have even been dismantled in Si” if the communities there still want to build wind turbines, they encounter considerable resistance. If we do not want to continue importing natural gas and oil from questionable countries, the blockade policy in all countries and communities must end.”

In other federal states too, the expansion of wind energy is currently below expectations. In the windy coastal state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, 16 permits were issued in the first half – in Thuringia (11), Baden-Württemberg (10) and Rhineland-Palatinate (7) there were even fewer.

Industry association fears negative effects

The Federal Ministry of Economics informed the TOS with the fact that it is important that throughout Germany “all regions make a corresponding contribution”. The federal government is now “for the first time setting binding area targets for federal states. All states must make a contribution in order to provide a total of 2% of the federal area for onshore wind energy” .

If the expansion is not accelerated, it could have negative effects on the economy, warns the trade association WVW: “Anyone who does not radically advance the expansion of renewable energies now puts Germany at risk as a as an economic site and social peace.


Source www.tagesschau.de

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