02 Jun 2022, 13:26
Benjamin Wehrmann

City of Berlin mulls wind power buildout, Bavaria has highest expansion potential

rbb / Clean Energy Wire

The city of Berlin must consider building large modern wind turbines on its territory if it wants to meet its contribution to Germany’s wind power expansion target, the city state’s environment minister has said. Bettina Jarasch from the Green Party said the country’s capital will assess potential turbine locations in Berlin’s forests, adding that Russia’s war on Ukraine has made finding solutions for renewable power expansion more urgent than ever, public broadcaster rbb reported. The federal government’s new aim of reaching a renewables share of 80 percent in electricity demand and to reserve 2 percent of the country's area for potential turbine locations would “change our basic assumptions” about renewables expansion in the city state, Jarasch said. “It’s much more than what we’ve calculated with so far.”

Berlin could no longer source out its renewable power production to neighbouring Brandenburg, which is much larger and already boasts thousands of turbines on its territory, Jarasch said. Brandenburg in May introduced a minimum distance for new turbines of 1,000 metres from residential areas. “We will have to make our own contribution to the power mix,” Jarasch said. Potential locations include industrial zones, power plant compounds and motorways, but also woodlands. “Environmentally protected areas certainly are not what we will go for first,” she added.

study commissioned by the federal economy and climate ministry (BMWK) and published in May found that the goal of reserving 2 percent of Germany’s land area for wind turbines is achievable, even though the potential areas are not equally distributed across the country. The greatest remaining potential is not found in northern or eastern Germany, where the bulk of the roughly 30,000 turbines have been built so far, but rather in southern states like Bavaria, Baden-Wurttemberg or Hesse, where expansion has been much slower. Bavaria has pledged to increase its wind power capacity, but continues to have some of the tightest restrictions on turbine construction in the country. However, in order to achieve the 2 percent goal, not all 16 states would have to make equal contributions. “The different conditions prevailing in each state should be considered when deciding how to distribute the target area,” the study said.

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