Germany’s Wind Power Expansion Bill

To lessen its dependency on Russian fossil fuels, Germany’s Ministry of the Economy and Climate unveiled a package of measures to accelerate the spread of onshore wind power.

Onshore wind power capacity in Germany is to be increased to 115 gigawatts (GW), the equivalent of 38 nuclear power reactors, by 2030 to meet the country’s target of supplying 80 percent of its renewable energy.

Just 0.8% of German land is officially earmarked for onshore wind power, and barely 0.5% of that area is being exploited for this purpose. By requiring each of the 16 federal states to make a certain amount of land accessible for wind farms, the law unveiled on Wednesday intends to raise that from 1% to 2%.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, a member of the Greens party and an environmentalist, has been trying in vain to persuade states to voluntarily grant more land for wind farms since taking office following last year’s elections.

According to the German Wind Energy Association, southern states like Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg may do more to reduce the number of construction licenses for new onshore wind turbines than in the first three months of this year compared to 2021.

With the new legislation, Bavaria will have to set aside 1.1 percent of its land by 2026 and 1.8 percent by 2032 under the proposed new legislation.

Trades between states would be possible if one state exceeded its quota and another fell short.

Regulations requiring wind farms to be developed at a specific distance from residential areas will be postponed if a state is in danger of failing to meet its quotas.

“The operation of wind power plants serves the public interest and is in the dominant public interest,” according to the draught language of the bill, which will be approved by the German cabinet next week.

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