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11 Apr 2022, 13:22
Julian Wettengel

Onshore wind power permits in Germany decrease despite expansion push

Clean Energy Wire

The number of construction permits issued for new onshore wind turbines in the first three months of 2022 fell 14 percent compared to the same period last year, wind energy industry association BWE said in a press release. “The upward trend we have seen since last year is clearly losing momentum in the first quarter of 2022,” said BWE president Hermann Albers. “The opposite would be necessary” to justify plans by the government to drastically increase expansion, he added. Between January and March 2022, 204 turbines with a joint capacity of 1,048 megawatts (MW) received their permit. Germany’s southern states continue to be at the bottom of the list: nine turbines in Baden-Württemberg, four turbines in Rhineland-Palatinate, three in Bavaria, two in Saxony and none in Saarland “are evidence of clearly undesirable developments in individual states,” BWE said.

The government coalition (SPD, Green Party and FDP) last week (6 April) adopted a major energy policy reform package, which aims to raise the rollout of wind and solar power “to a completely new level” and speed up the permit and construction processes. The reform will now be debated in parliament and is part of the climate action package the government promised for this year in its coalition agreement.

“We had fewer permits and applications at the beginning this year than last year and that was already a miserably bad year,” said economy minister Robert Habeck after a meeting with representatives from the renewables industry in Berlin. Much of the legislation the government is putting on the way to speed up renewables expansion would take effect only in 2023, but necessary land areas and permits should be made available now, said Habeck. “Otherwise, we will lose time not only in the generation of renewable energies, but also in planning security for companies that should invest now.”

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