German government, air navigation service facilitate onshore wind power expansion
Clean Energy Wire
The German economy ministry (BMWi) is providing 14 million euros of funding to help modernise conventional navigation facilities operated by German air navigation service provider DFS, a move that will expand the potential surface available for wind power generation. The DFS is set to convert all of its approach and departure procedures at the more than 60 German airports to satellite-based area navigation by 2030. This has allowed it to decommission 15 very high frequency omnidirectional range ground stations (VORs) in recent years, and 13 more are to follow by 2030. The move will facilitate the approval of more wind turbines in the protection zones in place around navigation facilities. The DFS still operates a number of conventional facilities (CVOR) but is increasingly using Doppler VOR (DVOR) facilities, which are more robust in the face of interference from wind turbines. DFS has already upgraded more than two-thirds of its facilities to this technology across Germany. The BMWi funding will be used to convert the remaining CVOR. More wind turbines can be approved in protection zones surrounding DVOR facilities following the upgrade. “The conversion of the VORs will free up additional land for the erection of wind turbines with a capacity of around 700 megawatts,” said economic affairs and energy minister Peter Altmaier. “DFS is supporting the expansion of wind energy wherever navigation accuracy is not affected and the state of technology allows,” said Friedrich-Wilhelm Menge, the DFS’s chief technology officer.
German onshore wind power expansion has slowed in recent years, as new turbine volumes dropped due to regulatory issues, as well as problems with permit procedures and local opposition to turbines.