( Clean Energy Wire ) – The German states have signalled their readiness to expand onshore wind power in the country “in almost unknown unity”, economy and climate minister Robert Habeck said. His comments came after he met with representatives of the 16 ‘Länder’ to discuss further buildout of renewables.
The Green Party minister said all states had “in essence” supported the federal government’s aim to achieve a share of renewables in the electricity mix of 80 percent by 2030, from about 45 percent in 2022. Habeck said the way was now almost clear to achieve long-awaited progress with respect to Germany’s “most embattled” renewable power source, which for years has been held up due to protests against turbine construction, slow license issuing procedures, and quarrels over minimum distances from residential areas.
The states had finally realised that more renewable power brings economic advantages, he argued. “We’ve passed the stage of identifying problems and will now implement expansion, from north to south and from east to west,” Habeck said. The minister said there would be two more “wind power summits” this year in which details about the accelerated expansion are clarified and decisions put into law. “What we need is construction space.
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The states and municipalities will now designate them,” Habeck said, adding that the aim remains to reserve at least two percent of the country’s land area for turbine construction.
The minister said an emergency regulation by the EU to suspend some environmental checks for the duration of 18 months to speed up renewable power expansion in the energy crisis would be of great help for Germany’s wind power buildout ambitions. He insisted that this would not lead to “material” losses in environmental protection but rather shorten the process.
However, environmental NGO Nabu criticised the suspension of environmental checks. “I’m disappointed by Robert Habeck and [environment minister] Steffi Lemke,” Nabu head Jörg-Andreas Krüger told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, arguing the two Green Party ministers supported the weakening of environmental protection.
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