Disputes over wind power land use in northern Germany
The expansion of wind power generation in northern Germany is meeting resistance from politicians and environmental organisations alike, Welt Online reports in two separate articles. In north-eastern state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, politician Eckhardt Rehberg, of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU, said he was “terrified” by calls from the state’s renewable energy industry to expand the total area designated for wind power generation from 1 percent to 1.2 percent of the territory. The new figure would include more potential locations in forests. Rehberg said there was not enough grid capacity to absorb more wind power, and that calls for expansion would be “shameless”.
In western neighbour state Schleswig-Holstein, environmental organisation NABU said the state’s government was “incapable of managing an environmentally friendly energy transition” as it failed to establish adequate protection standards for the endangered red kite, a bird of prey. The organisation says the species is especially threatened by wind power turbines. It added that reducing the land area designated for wind power from 1.95 percent to 1.8 percent of the territory to give the birds more room would not hurt the energy transition’ success.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet Fighting windmills: When growth hits resistance.