German economy minister Robert Habeck on Tuesday presented a detailed strategy envisaging measures in 12 areas of action that aim to support the expansion of onshore wind capacity to 157 GW by 2035.
The implementation of the strategy was discussed by some 100 representatives from the federal and state governments, the wind energy sector and other stakeholders at the Second Wind Energy Summit in Berlin.
The areas of action include the promotion of wind energy expansion under the Renewable Energy Act (EEG); support for business models outside the EEG; faster repowering; mobilising more areas for wind turbines in the short term; speeding up the approval process; facilitating area security; strengthening social support; strengthening production capacity for the supply chain in Germany; securing more qualified professionals; facilitating the transport of wind turbine components; advancing technological development; aligning the expansion of both the power grid and wind energy.
When it comes to the permitting procedure, the federal government is seeking to at least halve the average duration of the process through a significant simplification. The strategy envisages introducing approval deadlines such as two months for the approval of the aviation authority as well as facilitating the approval of wind turbines in industrial and commercial areas.
The document ensures also the implementation of guidelines from the EU emergency regulation.
Some of the measures in the strategy are already being implemented while the legal basis for others will be in place by the end of this year, the economy ministry said.
Germany's wind energy association BWE welcomed the progress that has been made since the first Wind Energy Summit in March but pointed out that there are still issues which need to be addressed. These concern primarily the tension between wind energy and species protection.
According to BWE's vice president Baerbel Heidebroek, the environment ministry must defuse the apparent conflict between species protection and wind energy and revise the amendment to the Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchG) in order to avoid new uncertainties among the approval authorities. The authorities need a clear legal framework in order to be able to make quick and well-founded decisions, Heidebroek added.
At the end of April, Germany had more than 29,400 wind turbines in operation with a combined capacity of 58.76 GW but the pace of the installation of new capacity is far below what it should be to reach the target. In the first four months of the year, onshore wind projects of more than 2 GW in total have been approved compared with 4.4 GW for the entire 2022.
The table below gives details about the installation history and targets for onshore wind in Germany.
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