Bavaria says on track to become renewables hotspot
Bavaria is making up lost ground in the rollout of wind power following the recent easing of strict distance rules, and also aims to become a European solar power leader, its conservative-led government said, reports Süddeutsche Zeitung. State premier Markus Söder said up to 340 turbines are now in the planning stage, have been applied for or are about to be approved in Bavaria. "There really is a fresh wind blowing for wind energy,” Söder said. He added that renewables, which he referred to as "homeland energies," have fully entered the implementation stage. In photovoltaics, Bavaria is to become "sunshine state number one," in Europe, Söder said.
Söder’s cabinet called the accelerated expansion of all renewable energies the "central adjustment” for the state’s energy supply, but also for "achieving Bavaria's ambitious climate protection goals." The parliament in Munich agreed to an update of the state’s plans for climate action, which the Greens criticised as “non-committal, unambitious and irresponsible.”
Until recently, industrial powerhouse Bavaria has been reluctant to boost wind power, Germany’s most important renewable power source. The state’s contested "10-H rule," whereby new turbines must be built at a distance from residential areas equalling at least ten times the turbine’s height, has meant that Bavaria only added three new turbines in the first half of this year. Following widespread criticism from local industry, environmentalists and the federal government in Berlin, the state agreed to allow a number of exceptions, for example in forests and along highways.