Wind energy within 1,000m radius of residential buildings
Create incentives instead of imposing construction bans! Wind farm operator WestWind ENERGY presents poster to CDU/CSU parliamentary group demanding exemption from grid fees, EEG levy and electricity tax for residents
Berlin, December 11, 2019. As part of the “Hydrogen as an Energy Carrier” event in the CDU/CSU parliamentary group meeting room, WestWind ENERGY from Kirchdorf presented the CDU member of the Bundestag from the Diepholz district (Lower Saxony), Axel Knoerig, also a member of the Bundestag Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy, with a poster demanding “Create incentives instead of imposing construction bans!”. The poster depicts the landscape of a wind farm under construction with 240m high wind turbines, which comply with the legally binding distance of 3 times the total height (720m (!)) to individual residential buildings in the privileged outdoor area. In the future, the federal government plans to prohibit wind energy plants within a radius of 1,000m around village structures with at least 5 residential buildings. According to the Federal Environment Agency, this regulation would lead to a reduction of almost 50 percent in the amount of land available for wind energy in Germany. Meanwhile, renewables, such as wind energy, photovoltaics and hydropower, are the cheapest sources of energy – especially relative to fossil fuel power plants. “In a future world with Industry 4.0, e-mobility and green hydrogen as an energy source, business locations with a high share of renewables in their energy system will have clear competitive advantages. Impairing wind energy as a key renewable energy pillar by almost 50 percent significantly limits Germany’s future competitiveness,” says Christian Meindertsma, authorized signatory at WestWind ENERGY.
Based on its planning experience, the company points out that the already existing regulations from case law on the oppressive effect as well as from the technical instructions for protection against noise (TA-Lärm) are already high and hardly allow distances of modern wind farms to pure and general residential areas of less than 1,000m. Federal states such as Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony explicitly reject blanket distances according to statements by their Minister Presidents Daniel Günther (CDU) and Stephan Weil (SPD).
WestWind ENERGY therefore proposes to exempt citizens within a 1,000m radius to wind turbines from the grid fees, the EEG levy and the electricity tax on their electricity bill. “The electricity bill reaches everyone and represents a proven instrument for increasing acceptance. Already existing regulations exempt consumers from grid charges, the EEG levy and the electricity tax in the context of direct supply (cable route between power generation plant and consumer) in the closer spatial vicinity. Unfortunately, this form of supply to private households by wind energy is not technically possible,” explains Christian Meindertsma.
Today, electricity-intensive companies with more than 1 million kilowatt hours of electricity consumption per year can almost completely exempt themselves from the EEG levy within the framework of the special equalization regulation in the Renewable Energies Act (EEG). This regulation is justified with the preservation of the competitiveness of the location Germany. However, this factor puts pressure on the electricity prices of private households. Today, the electricity costs for private households in Germany are at the top of Europe, while Germany is in the middle of Europe in terms of electricity costs for electricity-intensive companies. WestWind ENERGY therefore also proposes to exempt citizens from the EEG levy according to the renewable energy quota within their counties or cities. “In addition to the ecological component “climate protection”, the economic importance of wind energy for the national economy – as a contribution to greater acceptance – must be made clear to citizens. Here we see politics in the responsibility!”, demands Lars Langeleh, financing specialist at WestWind ENERGY.
To WestWind ENERGY
WestWind ENERGY, based in Kirchdorf in the Diepholz district of Lower Saxony, was founded in 1998 and undertakes the planning, development and operational management of wind farms. The company has erected 197 wind turbines in Germany with a total of 430 megawatts of installed capacity and has obtainedmore than 1,000 megawatts of construction permits for wind turbines that have been erected or are under construction in its core markets of Germany and Australia. In 2019, WestWind ENERGY participated in the German EEG tenders for onshore wind energy with 93 megawatts.