Government of Rhineland-Palatinate Approves Draft Wind Power Decree

The Cabinet of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate approved the draft of a new wind power decree. Expanding onshore wind power is a central aim of the government of the state. The decree shall help to implement and interpret the respective legal provision in a uniform way. It shall also give guidance in case of doubt so that conflicts with other objectives, e.g. nature protection, do not arise.

The draft wind power decree specifies the principles and aims concerning the expansion of wind power laid down in the draft amendment of State Development Programme (LEP IV) for the Expansion of Renewable Energy. The draft decree contains the following amendments:

  • The obligation to designate priority zones (Vorranggebiete) for the use of wind power;
  • the obligation to designate at least 2% of the state’s territory and 2% of the woodland areas for use by wind power plants;
  • increased competences by the municipal authorities responsible for permitting wind power plants (Erweiterung des Planungsspielraums der Gemeinden); and
  • state-wide mandatory criteria for designating wind power exclusion zones.

The draft wind power decree also gives guidance on the following issues:

  • The wind conditions of a particular location, which are considered as one of the most important criteria for permitting new wind power plants;
  • The recommendations on the minimum distance of wind power plants to the different areas of use pursuant to the Federal Land Utilisation Ordinance (BauNVO), e.g. residential housing;
  • The replacement of older wind turbines by newer, more efficient and usually higher ones (so-called repowering);
  • Wind farm exclusion zones (Ausschlussgebiete);
  • Wind farms in woodland areas;
  • Protection of species;
  • The particular landscape and the pollution load (Vorbelastung) of the location as important criteria that have to be considered in the permitting process.

The draft wind power decree will now be submitted for review by the associations concerned, i.e. the municipal and environmental associations as well as the associations of the energy sector. Following this procedure, the  Cabinet will debate the matter once again.

The wind power decree shall be published once the amendment of the State Development Programme (LEP IV) has entered into force.

Source: Rhineland-Palatinate

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