In the dispute over the distance rules for wind turbines Svenja Schulze (SPD) again criticized Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU). Before an energy transition meeting between the federal and state governments scheduled for Thursday in the Chancellery, the Environment Minister warned against further blocking wind power. Schulze personally made Altmaier, who had supported stricter distance rules for wind turbines, responsible for the lull in the expansion of the wind energy sector. In the first nine months of 2019, only 150 new plants went online. The main reasons for the slow expansion are long approval procedures, lack of space and lawsuits from citizens.
At the end of last year, the ministry had drafted a law that new wind turbines and extensions to existing plants should be at least 1,000 meters away from any settlement with five houses or more. The paper has not yet been adopted by the Bundestag. Opponents of the project argue that investments are already braking. In addition, due to the distance control, the necessary expansion was hardly possible or not possible at all, because there was no space. They include the Minister for the Environment, who is calling for a new version of the draft law.
"The SPD cannot go with it"
"Nationwide windmill spell miles of one kilometer around the smallest settlements would stifle wind power and are not necessary at all," said Schulze der New Osnabrück newspaper, "The urgently needed space for the expansion of wind energy would be eliminated, that would be insane." For them it is not feasible to start with distance rules for five houses. "The SPD cannot go with it."
In the Minister's view, faster wind power expansion can only succeed if space is created for it. "It would be nice if everyone in the Union finally understood that." Schulze did Altmaier personally responsible for the stalled expansion. "The fact that he had been debating for so long contributed to the uncertainty and cost a lot of time," Schulze told the newspaper. Altmaier must now put the amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources Act on the table as quickly as possible so that politicians can provide more planning security in the wind sector.