28 Sep 2022, 13:45
Benjamin Wehrmann

Wind power expansion success depends entirely on efforts by German states – econ min

Die Welt / Süddeutsche Zeitung

Germany’s economy and climate minister Robert Habeck has called on the country’s states to massively ramp up their onshore wind power efforts, newspaper Die Welt reports. Speaking at the leading industry fair Hamburg WindEnergy, the Green Party politician said the current expansion speed in many states “is not acceptable.” It has taken Germany several decades to build its current 57 gigawatts (GW) of onshore wind capacity, but the same capacity must now to be installed over the course of just eight years, he warned. Only 2 GW was installed in 2021, while the necessary volume to stay on track towards the 2030 expansion targets was 10 GW – exactly the capacity that is currently being held up in sluggish licensing procedures within the states, which cannot be influenced by the federal government. “If all federal states did their job, we might have a chance,” otherwise “we will lose,” the minister said. Habeck added that he could not understand why some states still have tight expansion restrictions in place, such as the controversial 10H-rule in Bavaria, whereby turbines must keep a distance to residential areas equalling ten times their height.

Meanwhile, a survey commissioned by Bavaria’s Green Party released earlier this week found that more than half of people in Bavaria believe the state’s controversial 10H rule should be scrapped, reports Süddeutsche Zeitung. According to the survey carried out by opinion research institute Civey, 54.4 percent said they were "definitely" or "rather yes" in favour of abolishing the law. In contrast, only 38.1 per cent answered "definitely no" or "rather no".

 The rule makes construction of large-scale wind energy capacity very difficult in Bavaria, where industry associations already warned that a lack of renewable power could bite into the economic powerhouse state’s competitiveness. A similar survey carried out one year ago found that 54.8 percent supported the measure while just 38.1 percent were against it, suggesting that the energy crisis triggered by Russia’s war on Ukraine may be shaping the public’s attitudes.

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