20 Sep 2023, 13:34
Edgar Meza

German wind power association warns against loss of land due to planned military restrictions

Tagesspiegel Background

New military exclusion zones could lead to the loss of up to a third of federal land for wind power generation in Germany, Tagesspiegel Background reported. The German Wind Energy Association (BWE) has warned that new restricted areas around German Air Force radar systems would reduce the federal government's target of assigning 2 percent of the country's land area for onshore wind power to “absurdity.” The new exclusion zones are part of a transport ministry draft law that expands the Air Traffic Act. The amendment bans structures such as wind turbines if they disrupt air traffic control radar systems for civil air traffic. As a result of the war in Ukraine, however, it would also extend to 18 radar systems overseen by the German Air Force’s operational command and control service throughout the country, according to the energy policy newsletter.

The new act foresees a 50-kilometre test radius around the radar systems, which would dramatically reduce space for wind power. The BWE has calculated that around a third of the federal territory currently available for onshore wind power generation could suddenly become restricted areas. The plans would “result in a huge consumption of land,” BWE president Bärbel Heidebroek warns. While wind power projects could theoretically still be approved by the military in some restricted areas if they are deemed to be safe, the uncertainty would lead to developers avoiding exclusion zones, the BWE argues. The addition of “several hundred wind turbines each year would create a new bureaucratic monster – both on the part of the industry and on the part of the Bundeswehr,” it adds. The BWE is calling for military air defence radar systems to be removed from the draft.

Germany aims to meet 80 percent of its electricity demand from renewable sources by 2030. To get there, 57 gigawatts (GW) of new onshore wind turbines, 22 GW offshore turbines and 150 GW of photovoltaic capacity must be built.

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