Bavaria urges EU to allow state support to wind power expansion in Southern Germany
Clean Energy Wire
The energy and economy minister of the southern German state Bavaria, Hubert Aiwanger (Free Voters), has called on the federal government to remove bureaucratic hurdles at the EU level that delay financial support to a faster expansion of wind power and bioenergy installations in the state. Aiwanger said Germany needs a “quota for the South,” as states in the North of the country continue to be far ahead in the rollout of wind power, a key technology. “We have to make sure that enough funding for wind turbine volumes that are auctioned in the South is available to compensate for the lower wind yield there and give wind power a boost,” Aiwanger said. He criticised the EU for blocking such a measure due to competition concerns, effectively putting a brake on wind power expansion in the region. “We need every kilowatt hour of electricity,” Aiwanger argued. The German government is in favour of granting bidders in the South favourable conditions to encourage them to take part in national auctions, in which the lion’s share of new installations routinely goes to states in the North. “The war in Ukraine and our dependence on Russian energy must compel the EU to pull the lever and let wind power in southern Germany flourish.”
Wind power already is Germany’s most important renewable power source and plays a key role in future energy system planning. Bavaria, the country’s biggest state, has one of the lowest wind power capacities in Germany, a fact that the wind power industry and environmental groups largely blame on the state’s strict minimum distance rules, which are much tighter than in other German states.