22 Jul 2019, 14:00
Benjamin Wehrmann

More than 2,000 new wind power turbines in Germany on hold due to licensing issues

Clean Energy Wire

Construction of more than 2,000 onshore wind turbines in Germany -- with a combined capacity of nearly 10 gigawatts (GW) -- is on hold due to bureaucratic hurdles and delays in the licensing process, according to a survey of industry representatives by onshore wind agency Fachagentur Windenergie an Land. Objections from air-traffic controllers, who fear interference with radio beacons needed for navigation, have halted construction of around 1,000 turbines. The German army (Bundeswehr) has criticised another 900 turbines because they could get obstruct low-flying jets or interfere with radar systems. A further 300 turbines face court challenges, many by environmental organisations concerned they might damage bird or bat habitats. German wind industry association BWE said lawsuits against wind power installations by environmental groups were “remarkable”, given that renewable power is key to environmental protection. 

Germany currently has around 30,000 onshore wind turbines, making them by far the most important source of renewable power in the county. However, after several years of rapid growth, at the start of 2019 wind power expansion had fallen to its lowest level since 2000. This, combined with declining participation in wind power auctions, has prompted the sector to call on government to take action to ensure renewable capacity grows fast enough to meet emissions reduction targets.

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