10 Jan 2020, 11:54
Benjamin Wehrmann

Less than ten percent of Germany's wind turbines built in woodlands

Clean Energy Wire

Only one out of ten onshore wind turbines in Germany is built in woodlands and the effect of the renewable energy technology on the country's forests is "small and locally limited," the government has said in a reply to a parliamentary inquiry by pro-business party FDP. Of the roughly 29,000 turbines in operation across the country, fewer than 2,000 have been built in areas declared as woodlands and about 3,500 square metres of forest have to be cleared on average to build a turbine, including access roads. According to the government, these areas are reforested when construction has been completed and the turbines' components have to be removed entirely by law when installations are taken down.

Wind power opponents criticise that turbines can have a negative impact on the environment and wildlife if they are constructed in woodlands, which in Germany have come under severe strain in the past two years due to prolonged droughts and other climate-related problems. The country’s Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) has warned more attention must be given to the impact of renewable power development on habitats and species, arguing that an ecologically sound renewable roll-out is possible.

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