25 Mar 2019, 13:39
Benjamin Wehrmann

Minimum distance rules for wind turbines threaten energy transition – German environment agency

Clean Energy Wire

A mandatory minimum distance for wind turbines from residential areas would severely threaten Germany’s transition to renewables, according to the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). A limit of 1,000 metres would reduce the land available for turbines by 20 to 50 percent, reducing potential capacity from 80 gigawatts (GW) to between 40 and 60 GW, the UBA said in a press release. This would mean that “sufficient expansion of wind power” to meet climate targets “would be almost impossible”. The UBA argues that wind power projects should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Wind power has become Germany’s most important source of renewable energy, and its second biggest source of electricity overall after coal. The German government aims to cover 65 percent power consumption with renewables by 2030. But across the country, local residents’ groups have protested against the construction of new wind parks. Germany’s wind power lobby, BWE, warns that “increasingly professional” protest groups are putting country’s renewables targets in jeopardy.

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