New German law supports onshore wind build-out

New federal legislation will require 2% of German territory to be reserved for onshore wind to achieve the nation’s renewable energy targets.

Photo: René Schütze

Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy announced a new legislative package Wednesday this week to promote the country’s expansion of renewable energy, thus reducing national dependency on fossil fuels, reports Reuters.

Germany seeks to source 80% of its energy requirement from renewables in 2030, and that means the republic must extend onshore wind capacity to 115GW, equivalent to the effect of 38 nuclear power plants.

Despite this aim, only 0.8% of German territory is now zoned for onshore wind, while merely 0.5% in fact serves that purpose at present.

The new law thus stipulates that 2% of German land be set aside to host the technology. This will be achieved by each of the 16 federal states fulfilling minimum level requirements, for instance, Bavaria must zone 1.1% of land to onshore wind, then raise this figure to 1.8% come 2032.

States failing to comply will trigger suspension of distance requirements for wind turbine installations in residential areas.

The legislation also contains elements weakening environmental protections on grounds that ”the operation of wind power plants is in the overriding public interest and serves public safety,” according to the draft text cited by the news agency.

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