Conservatives agree on exceptions for wind power distance rules in Bavaria
The parliamentary group of the ruling conservative CSU in Bavaria has come out in favour of relaxing the strict wind power turbine distance rules in the southern German state, reports Süddeutsche Zeitung. Following months of debate and a dispute with the federal government, the lawmakers agreed that in certain areas – such as forests or along the highways – there should be a minimum distance of 1,000 metres, instead of applying the controversial “10H rule”. The expansion of wind power in Bavaria has come to a virtual standstill since the introduction of this rule, which says that the minimum distance between a wind turbine and the nearest settlement must be ten times the height of the turbine. Modern turbines reach heights of 200 metres and more. State premier Markus Söder said that with this agreement about 800 turbines could be built. The federal government will now assess the proposal. It had threatened to force Bavaria to abandon the 10H rule.
Germany's onshore wind power capacity is recovering from years of depressed expansion, but is still not close to levels necessary for the country’s renewables targets for 2030, the country's wind power industry said recently. The new government aims to speed up its roll-out considerably and says two percent of German land must be set aside for the technology. 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.