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30 Aug 2019, 14:12
Benjamin Wehrmann

German grid agency urges federal states to back wind power expansion

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Germany's federal states need to take a clear stance and back the expansion of onshore wind power to make sure that the country can reach its 2030 renewable energy goal, Jochen Homann, head of the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), says in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. "Especially the federal states are responsible in this case. Many of the current problems take place within their sphere of competence," Homann said of the many onshore wind power projects stuck in licensing procedures that have brought the pace of wind power expansion to the lowest level in nearly 20 years. The BNetzA head said expansion must be increased "substantially" and called on the federal states to reserve more land for wind turbine construction. "Minimum distance rules have to be revisited to make sure they are not over the top," Homann said, adding the national power grid must expand with the growth of renewables to ensure that Germany's power supply remains stable and grid management costs are kept in check.

The German government plans to bring the share of renewables in Germany's power consumption to 65 percent by 2030, but the chamber of commerce and other stakeholders have warned that this goal will be out of reach if renewables expansion is not accelerated significantly. Economy minister Peter Altmaier has invited wind power industry representatives to a crisis meeting on 5 September.

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