Wind energy industry: Federal government makes fatal mistakes

The wind energy industry accuses the federal government of serious mistakes in view of the crisis of onshore wind power. "Instead of helping to rebuild the development of wind energy, the industry will put more obstacles in the way", said the President of the German Wind Energy Association, Hermann Albers, the German Press Agency. "The fact that the Federal Government threatens to buckle the most important project of our economy due to the criticism of some citizens' initiatives shows their current political weakness." Instead, the government must create "new enthusiasm" for the important project "Energiewende".

Albers said the federal government is making a "fatal mistake" with the introduction of a 1,000-meter distance control system from wind turbines to housing estates. With this nationwide regulation, which was agreed upon by the Climate Cabinet, the acceptance of wind turbines for local residents is to be increased. Five adjoining houses should be considered housing developments, as stated in the draft bill of the responsible Ministry of Economic Affairs. So far, there are different requirements from country to country.

Especially on the five-house rule, there is criticism, including by Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD). However, according to the bill, the federal states are free to make deviating regulations. At economic and energy associations, but also the countries, the plans of the Federal Government nevertheless come up against strong criticism.

"That should never be law," said Green Party leader Anton Hofreiter on Saturday the news portal, "That would be the destruction of a key sector of the socio-ecological market economy." Green Party leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt accused the federal government of a mixture of "inability and fear": A distance regulation, which is about five houses, was "the death of the wind power industry."

According to information of New Osnabrück newspaper Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) wants wind farm operators in the north, where there are congested power grids, to pay for grid expansion. The NOZ refers to a bill by the Federal Minister of Economics to phase out coal-fired power generation. In the future, the government could oblige producers to pay a "grid-cost-oriented expansion subsidy" if they are re-connected to the grid.

Wind industry: Federal government makes fatal mistakes

(Picture: TebNad /

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The expansion of wind power on land had almost come to a standstill this year. The main reasons are long approval procedures, under-reported areas and many lawsuits. On site there are many citizens' initiatives against wind turbines.

The industry fears that the expansion crisis will be exacerbated because new space regulations would hardly provide any new space for wind turbines. A further expansion of wind power on land is considered necessary so that Germany can create climate targets.

Federal Environment Minister Schulze now advocated the construction of wind turbines in Germany on private forest land as well. "In my view, it does not speak very much against private forest owners who want to build a wind turbine in their spruce plantations," said Schulze Rheinische Post (Saturday). It depends very much on the specific case. But: "With the attitude, wind turbines only disturb, the energy turnaround will not move forward." The turnaround must also be made nature-friendly. Numerous citizens' initiatives, however, demand that the forest must be declared a "taboo zone" for wind power.

Altmaier had proposed a package of measures to speed up approval procedures and make more space available.

Albers from the German Wind Energy Association said: "The improvements must come urgently this year, otherwise the years 2020 and 2021 will also be weak years for wind energy." He added: "The industry of the future has already lost 40,000 jobs since 2016."

Enercon, one of the largest German manufacturers of wind turbines, has recently announced a comprehensive reorientation – which should also eliminate about 3000 jobs. In the struggle for the future of the wind turbine manufacturer, Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil and Environment Minister Olaf Lies (both SPD) want to discuss the future of the company with works council members and representatives of IG Metall on Saturday in Aurich. According to the company, a major reason for the faltering sales is that hardly any new wind turbines are being built in Germany.

In order to get the expansion of wind energy back on track, Weil demands from the federal government a simplification of approval procedures for new plants. The doldrums in the construction of new wind turbines on land could be aggravated in his estimation with the planned distance rules for new plants, as he said to the dpa: "For Lower Saxony, we will not accept the 1000 meters distance and make use of the exit options."

Industry President Albers said he was "completely incomprehensible that currently only the restrictive distance control for wind turbines on land is addressed by the partially important reforms of the list of tasks from the Federal Ministry of Economics." The planned phase-out of coal-fired power generation can only be accompanied by a switch to renewable energies: "This transformation, which we call the energy transition, is the most challenging industrial policy and social project of our time." Such an important project needs explanation and positive communication at all levels of politics. "


. (TagsToTranslate) Federal Government (t) energy transition (t) Environment Minister (t) wind power