The trade union IG Bergbau, Chemie, Energie (IG BCE) has proposed an "energy pact" for more speed in the expansion of renewable energies and sees environmental associations and the Greens on the move. "In the talk shows, you cannot demand a quick shutdown of existing energy sources and complain about the lack of expansion of renewables – and at the same time block new construction projects for wind turbines or lines on site," said IG BCE chairman Michael Vassiliadis.
According to preliminary information from the Wind Energy Agency about the expansion of wind energy in Germany, only 276 new plants were put into operation nationwide last year. The main reasons are long approval procedures, insufficiently designated areas and many lawsuits. By contrast, according to the IG BCE, the pact should act, in which politicians, together with all relevant social groups, should agree on a path for a successful "energy transition 2.0". "Without a concept, there is nothing less than de-industrialization and social upheaval," said Vassiliadis. Previously, the electricity company RWE had initiated a round table on wind energy in order to restart the construction of wind turbines on land.
The federal government has been arguing about the further expansion of renewable energies for months. This is necessary due to the nuclear phase-out (2022) and the end of coal-based power generation. The debate is now about shortening the approval process. In addition, the question is how the acceptance of the population for wind farms can be increased – for example by the controversial minimum distance of 1,000 meters from wind turbines to residential buildings.
There are often citizens' initiatives at the construction sites against onshore wind farms as well as against new power lines. Rainer Ebeling of the Citizens' Initiative Reasonability said the approval procedures should not be simplified at the expense of environmental concerns. The initiative had already described a minimum distance of 1,000 meters as far too small. She also warned of health risks from wind turbines.
Ebeling said that one was basically ready to participate in a round table on wind power – "to hit the table, because it can't go on like this". Citizens' initiatives have the impression that they are not being listened to properly.