The federal government wants to legally oblige the federal states to quickly enable significantly more wind turbines. This emerges from a formulation aid for a wind-on-shore law that is available to the Tagesspiegel. According to this, by 2026 a total of 1.4 percent of all land in the state should be available for wind turbines, and in 2032 an average of two percent of the area should be available for wind energy. Only 0.5 percent of the country’s land is currently available for wind power.

According to the plans of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, which played a key role in drafting the bill, the 2 percent target will not be passed on to all federal states, but split up. In the city states of Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen, for example, only 0.5 percent of the land area is to be made available for wind turbines.

In Baden-Württemberg or Bavaria, where there is less wind, a total of 1.8 percent of the area is to be used by 2032. With 2.2 percent each, the most areas will be available in Brandenburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia.

However, the targets are flexible. In this way, the federal states can “transfer” up to 25 percent of the areas to one another as part of a state treaty. If two federal states agree among themselves, the areas can be exchanged. City states such as Berlin should even be allowed to exchange half of the target with other federal states, so that by 2032 only 0.25 percent of the city area will have to be made available for wind turbines.

The expansion of renewable energies is one of the key projects of the traffic light government. By 2030, 80 percent of the electricity in Germany should come from renewable energies. But the expansion of wind turbines had increasingly stalled in recent years. The high wind turbines are unpopular with the population, which is why several federal states have issued distance rules for the approval of wind turbines. Most recently Brandenburg and Saxony, where wind turbines may not be built closer than 1000 meters to residential buildings.

The traffic light government now wants to stop this political development. “In the future, minimum distance regulations must not lead to area restrictions” that run counter to the implementation of the two percent goal, the text says.

According to this, the countries have to give up their distance rules if they do not achieve their interim targets for wind power expansion. “In principle, the federal states can continue to decide on minimum distances, but they must ensure that they achieve the area targets and thus make their contribution to the expansion of wind energy,” says the statement. “If they don’t, the country-specific distance rules will not be applied.”

The draft law, in which the Ministry of Construction is also involved, is now to be coordinated with the associations and decided on next Wednesday in the cabinet and then submitted to the parliamentary process. It is planned that the Wind-on-Land Act will come into force at the beginning of 2023.

In addition to more areas for wind power, the federal government also wants to speed up the procedures for the approval and construction of wind turbines. The Federal Nature Conservation Act and the Federal Immission Control Act are to be amended for this purpose.

In order to simplify and speed up the approval process, uniform nationwide standards for the necessary species protection tests are being defined, among other things. In addition, the construction of wind turbines in landscape protection areas should also be possible in the future. On the other hand, countries like Bavaria had resisted for a long time, now they have to submit.