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For popular acceptance: municipalities are asking for more money for wind turbines

When plans for a new wind turbine are forged, often there is resistance in the population. Greater financial participation by the municipalities could increase acceptance, however, the German citizen and community federation considers.

The German Association of Cities and Municipalities called for greater financial participation of municipalities in wind turbines. Depending on the size and performance of the wind turbines, the municipalities concerned could be involved in creating value through a "predictable and direct" special levy, said Gerd Landsberg, managing director of the German Association of Cities and Municipalities.

In order to promote wind energy, greater acceptance and use for on-site wind turbines is important. "For this we need a clear commitment to wind energy development policy and additional measures to increase the acceptance of municipalities and citizens, one of which could be greater participation of local communities in value creation ". The expansion of wind energy has almost come to a standstill. The main reasons are long approval procedures, underestimated areas and many lawsuits. There are many citizens' initiatives against on-site wind turbines.

The energy industry and environmental organizations fear that the expansion crisis will continue to deteriorate. Background are plans in the federal government for a uniform minimum national distance of 1000 meters from wind turbines to residential buildings – to increase acceptance on the ground. Countries should be able to deviate from the requirements. According to the project of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the minimum distance should already be applied to residential complexes with more than five houses. But this is controversial in the coalition.

It is also criticized that existing projects for new wind turbines should be exempted from the 1000 meter rule if they were implemented in 2015 or later. A significant part of the projects planned but not yet implemented has older development plans, which could become invalid. Such a planning process can take several years.

Distance control would slow down wind power

Landsberg stated that it is not only fair to involve local communities of renewable energy plants more in their added value. "We also need to use incentives to achieve greater acceptance and commitment to the energy transition." On the one hand, local communities should receive a value added share through a new property tax. The Federal Council also discussed the increased involvement of local wind and solar plant communities in commercial taxes. "This approach also points in the right direction, but so far has not been consensual in the legislative process."

Even on a special implant-specific sample should be seriously discussed, said Landsberg. The state of Brandenburg has made an important first intermediate step with its law on the payment of a special tax to communities in the vicinity of wind turbines. "However, this law must be further developed for a federal regulation".

According to a study by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), stricter minimum distances would significantly slow down further expansion of wind energy on earth. Above all, the potential of wind energy area would be greatly reduced, according to the Berlin DIW. Stricter regulations of distance would have already caused the collapse of wind energy in Bavaria and would also have hindered the achievement of climate targets.

In Bavaria there is a so-called 10-hour distance control, so the distance of a wind turbine from residential areas must be at least ten times greater than that of the plant. For example, at a height of 200 meters, it would be two kilometers. However, more space is needed for wind energy to reach climate goals, not less, according to DIW study co-author Jan Stede.