Rhineland-Palatinate: Wind Power Given Priority in State Development Programme for Expansion of Renewables

The state government of Rhineland-Palatinate in a first reading approved an update of the State Development Programme (LEP IV) for the Expansion of Renewable Energy. The programme intends to increase the share of renewable energy sources to 100% by 2030. Wind power shall play a key role. Thus a number of LEP IV amendments aim at facilitating in particular wind power expansion.

Wind power generation shall quintuple by 2020 (in 2011 some 1.125 turbines produced roughly 1.7 TWh) and photovoltaics shall deliver 2 TWh. As already laid down in the coalition agreement of the ruling Social Democrat/Green Party government, 2% of the state’s territory shall be used for wind power generation. With the amended LEP IV, locations shall be used efficiently promoting the construction of wind turbines in high wind locations. In an interview with ARD, the state energy minister explicitly mentioned the Eifel, Hunsrück and Westerwald regions. She also mentioned that requirements for the construction of wind parks in certain protected areas shall be lowered. Municipalities shall be given greater leeway in dedicating areas for wind power use. On the other hand municipalities shall have to set up climate protection plans.

In accordance with the law, the draft LEP IV amendment has been submitted for public consultation. A final decision will be made in autumn, the minister said.

North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria already recently enacted similar wind power decrees to raise onshore wind power capacity (see related posts), as onshore wind power is the most cost-effective of the renewable energy sources to date.

Source: State Government of Rhineland-Palatinate; ARD

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