15 May 2023, 13:18
Carolina Kyllmann

Majority in wind power laggard state Bavaria would accept turbines in their vicinity – survey

Clean Energy Wire

The majority of citizens in the German state of Bavaria would accept wind turbines in their vicinity under certain circumstances, a survey commissioned by the Initiative Climate Neutral Germany (IKND) found. Wind power expansion has been sluggish in the southern state due to controversial distancing rules, but Bavarian citizens would welcome the construction of wind turbines in their immediate neighbourhood if they reduced power costs (65%), safeguarded prosperity in the state (60%), let their community directly profit from them (58%), or if it preserved jobs in the region (58%), according to the results. “The survey shows that the citizens of Bavaria have understood the ecological, economic and social added value of the energy transition,” said Bernhard Stiedl, head of trade union DGB Bavaria. “We see this as a clear mandate to the Bavarian state government to finally actively advance the energy transition.” The majority (58%) of those surveyed believe the state government should take more measures to achieve climate goals. Ahead of the state election in October, 52 percent say the candidates’ level of commitment to a clean and sustainable energy supply will be decisive for them when it comes to voting. Just under half of respondents (48%) are concerned about Bavaria losing ground as a business location due to a slow energy transition pace.

The largest German state by area has been particularly reluctant to embrace wind power generation, with strict minimum distance wind power rules stipulating that new turbines must be constructed at a distance from residential areas that equals at least ten times their own height. The state, which has been politically dominated by the Christian Social Union (CSU) for decades, also blocked plans to increase power transmission line capacity from north to south for years. CSU head Markus Söder recently announced Bavaria would build 1,000 new onshore wind turbines and create a state-owned agency to speed up the buildout.

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