An open dispute has broken out in the Grand Coalition on tighter rules on the distance between wind turbines and homes. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) has rejected a recent draft by Minister of Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier (CDU). "We disagree with this proposal," she said.
Federal government and coalition leaders had agreed in principle that between wind turbines and housing estates should be at least 1000 meters away. Altmaier's bill now states that this rule should apply when there are more than five houses together. That could significantly reduce the number of possible locations for wind turbines.
To create 65 percent green electricity by 2030, wind power must be expanded, said Schulze. "What the Ministry of Economics has submitted, is not yet sufficient."
Protests from environmental organizations and wind power industry
Actually, the Cabinet should decide on the draft bill on carbon exclusion, including the controversial distance rule for wind turbines next Monday - according to information from the news agency dpa it now nothing.
The draft had also caused a storm of protest at environmental and energy associations - they criticized that this would prevent a further expansion of wind power in Germany and deepen the crisis of the industry.
CDU defends the draft
The expansion of wind power on land has almost come to a standstill. The main reasons are long approval procedures, under-declared areas and many lawsuits. The crisis had been exacerbated once again, because Enercon, one of the largest German manufacturers of wind turbines, had announced a comprehensive reorientation - which should also eliminate around 3000 jobs.
The Union business wing rejected criticism of the planned minimum distance of 1000 meters. "The fact is that the expansion of wind energy has already massively collapsed today without a nationwide regulation," said the economic policy spokesman for the Union parliamentary group, Joachim Pfeiffer. "Already today, there is hardly any acceptance for wind turbines - almost no wind turbine is built without complaints."