In the dispute over the expansion of wind energy, the SPD a new idea: whoever accepts wind turbines in the neighborhood could be financially rewarded in the future. A so-called wind citizen allowance would help to overcome resistance to wind turbines on the doorstep and thus enable the expansion of the renewable energy source, said SPD parliamentary group leader Matthias Miersch der New Osnabrück newspaper,
A federal-state working group is currently reviewing several concepts to increase the acceptance of wind turbines again. According to Miersch, this includes the participation of the municipalities in the turnover of wind farms and direct cash flows to affected residents. The environmental politician would like an agreement on the concept in the first quarter of the year. The SPD also wants to limit the possibilities of citizens to prevent windmills by complaining. Germany will no longer be able to afford the "lengthy planning processes" to date if the "enormous transformation" of energy supply is to be mastered, Miersch said in the interview.
Onshore wind power is in crisis. Hundreds of citizens' initiatives are protesting against the expansion of the energy source. Lawsuits against 300 wind turbines are currently pending in Germany Federal government: The regulations for approval and operation of new plants have been tightened. In the climate package, the Union and the SPD agreed, among other things, on a minimum distance of 1,000 meters when new plants are built or older ones are enlarged. Proponents of the regulation argue that this increases public acceptance. Critics say that the necessary expansion is hardly or not possible because there is no space.
The current standstill in expanding the wind power jeopardizes the Federal Government's goal of increasing the share of green electricity to 65 percent by 2030. It is currently around 45 percent. Since the last nuclear power plant will go off the grid in 2022 and the electricity from coal will be phased out by 2038, a rapid expansion of wind and solar plants is necessary in order to be on target. However, between January and the end of September 2019, according to an analysis by the "Wind energy on land" agency, only 148 wind turbines with a total output of 507 megawatts were connected to the grid. In the five previous years, this value had already been reached in the first three months.
Miersch sees the planned offensive for renewable energies as "the next big touchstone for the grand coalition". He also demands from Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU) a more flexible minimum distance regulation. The requirement of 1,000 meters from residential areas and "village structures with significant residential development" does not define the size from which "significant residential development" is available, according to Miersch. Altmaier's proposal to include settlements of five houses or more is not acceptable to the SPD.
Leave "Atom specter in the moth box"
Altmaier also complained about the length of the approval process at a wind energy summit in September. The problem is that there are currently "more wind energy tenders than ever", but at the same time there are too few building permits. The proceedings are taking longer and longer and there are more complaints. However, the minister of economics saw a need for action, above all in the ministry of the environment: changes to species and nature conservation law are urgently needed to reduce blockages. It is Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD), which must be more flexible.
Environmental politician Miersch spoke in the NOZ-Interview also opposed, for climate protection reasons, to slow down the coal phase-out or to use nuclear energy for longer: "There must be no return to nuclear power. That would be highly dangerous and completely wrong," said Miersch. The final storage would consume billions anyway. "Instead of getting the nuclear specter out of the moth box, all climate activists should recognize that the future lies only in renewable energies and in more efficiency in energy consumption," said the SPD parliamentary group vice-president. Most recently, Wolfram König, the head of the Federal Office for Nuclear Waste Management (BfE), defended the nuclear phase-out, primarily for security reasons.