As of: 05.09.2019 17:20

The federal and state governments plan to develop a package of measures in the coming months to accelerate the sluggish expansion of wind power ashore. The goal is to achieve a "national consensus" as in the nuclear and coal exit, said Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) after a peak meeting on Thursday in Berlin. The following talks will focus on how more areas can be designated for wind turbines and approval procedures can be accelerated.

A comment from Verena Gonsch, NDR Info

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Verena Gonsch is not surprised that nothing came out at the wind energy summit except cheap declarations of intent.

It is not without a certain comedy that Peter Altmaier should help the wind energy to new impetus. After all, he is the person responsible who brought the solar industry to its knees five years ago. As environment minister, he covered the solar energy expansion and cut back the subsidies. The result: The industry continued to collapse, every second job was lost.

The problems of wind energy are different but just as important for the question of whether Germany will achieve its climate goals. The wind power in the north has been a success story so far and threatens to fail for a year. A total of 35 new wind turbines were connected to the grid throughout Germany from January to July 2019. In Bavaria and Hesse it was not one. The unions are also raising the alarm: within one year, 26,000 jobs have been lost, which is more than is currently the case in the highly competitive lignite mining industry. At the same time wind energy is finally able to compete after decades of promotion. Wind is worthwhile, for growers and for users.

There are a great many reasons for the crisis in the industry: The current misery was triggered by a very complicated tendering process that has been going on for a year and a half and should actually promote local citizen parks. In addition, all permits dragged on incredibly long. At the moment, it takes three years in Germany to approve an installation. In addition, there is a real flood of lawsuits against planned wind farms.

Even the endangerment of some bats or buzzards can cause the construction to be stopped. That's not all: some countries have introduced generous distance regulations between residential buildings and wind turbines, which further reduce the potential space available for wind farms. And then comes the flight safety, which has the undisturbed air traffic in mind. No easy task Peter Altmaier had on the summit today. No wonder too that, except for cheap declarations of intent, nothing has come of it yet.

Unfortunately, as is often the case in the climate debate, whether it is power lines or wind farms. The St. Florians principle prevails. The British saying "Not in my backyard" is even better when it comes to wind turbines. Most are for renewable energy because they are so environmentally friendly. But the fact that you have to build new facilities that change the landscape is unacceptable for just as many.

Economic and environmental associations have presented a ten-point program ahead of the summit. It consists of a pragmatic mix of incentive systems for the municipalities and the purification of superfluous administrative regulations. That seems the right way to get wind energy out of its current crisis.

It may also help if we realize that, in the final analysis, we have to buy in electricity from Polish coal-fired power plants or French nuclear power plants. For then, if we do not succeed in expanding renewable energies as planned.

additional Information

Lower Saxony's Minister of the Environment Olaf Lies wants to remove obstacles to the construction of new wind farms. The SPD politician pleads for less distance rules and concessions in nature conservation.
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05.09.2019 | 17:08 clock

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