Germany

Germany

Proposed German 1km setback rule to be relaxed

The much-criticised 1,000-metre setback rule proposed by the German federal government could be weakened in a new draft law.

The rule would have placed a minimum 1km setback for wind turbines from residential dwellings (pic: Nordex)
The rule would have placed a minimum 1km setback for wind turbines from residential dwellings (pic: Nordex)

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A new draft of Germany's building code would allow Germany's states to opt-in to the distance restriction, as opposed to opting out of it as originally planned

"This is a proposal that gives the federal states and municipalities the necessary planning leeway to secure areas for wind expansion and at the same time ensure local acceptance of wind power," a government spokeswoman said.

The proposed limitation would have severely restricted the remaining areas where wind projects could be installed in Germany and affect repowering opportunities. 

In November 2019, six German industry federations (BDEW, BDI, BWE, DGB, VKU und VDMA) wrote to Germany's economy minister Peter Altmaier, criticising the proposal, arguing it would affect Germany's chances of reaching the renewable energy target by the end of the decade. 

"It is inexplicable to us why a fixed 1km wind turbine distance to dwellings rule is still planned, even though it is clear that it means the goal of 65% renewable energy by 2030 will not be reached," they wrote at the time.

Germany's wind market hit the buffers in 2019 with onshore installations falling to under 1.1GW, the lowest amount since before the year 2000.

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