Five northern German states complain about an "existential crisis" in the wind energy sector and have called on the federal government to act. The prime ministers of Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Hamburg and Bremen accuse the government of a blockade that could jeopardize the industrial location of Germany. In an unusual joint appearance in Berlin they warned that without a strong expansion of wind energy not only the energy transition would fail, but also the climate protection goals would not be achieved. Above all, Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier (CDU), the Prime Minister, make the wrong decisions. "De facto threatens a dismantling of wind energy," said the Lower Saxony head of government Stephan Weil (SPD).
Over the past three years, more than 40,000 jobs have been lost. The expansion of wind energy on land had practically come to a standstill this year. If this trend continues, there will no longer be any German wind power industry in the foreseeable future. The heads of government are calling for, among other things, a strong expansion of offshore wind energy, the privilege of true community wind farms, the exploitation of all possible areas for facilities, the optimization of grid expansion and the acceleration of licensing procedures.
Because and his Schleswig-Holstein colleague Daniel Günther (CDU) also said that the gap between the produced and required by companies amount of green electricity is getting bigger. Background is for example the announced settlement of a Tesla factory near Berlin, which requires large amounts of additional green electricity. Günther said that even cloud companies with high electricity requirements would rather go to Denmark than to Germany because the electricity costs in this country are far too high.
"Take the resistance that exists, seriously"
It is nonsensical that the electricity is just in the most expensive regions that produced even cheap wind power, criticized Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's head of government Manuela Schwesig (SPD). Existing industrial companies also came under increasing pressure. For example, steel mills could meet the requirement for CO2-free production only if hydrogen were produced to a large extent. However, this requires a high energy consumption of green electricity. "Germany will have to decide whether it still wants to remain industrialized country," said Weil. Bremen Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte (SPD) accused the Federal Government of not understanding the dimensions of the challenge at all. A steel plant in Bremen alone needs one gigawatt of electricity per year. But the government tops the offshore wind expansion at 20 gigawatts. You need at least a target of 30 gigwatts by 2030.
In concrete terms, the Prime Ministers demand that only new elements such as the height of the wind turbines should be tested when replacing wind turbines. The double EEG surcharge in the production of synthetic fuels such as hydrogen must be eliminated. Schwesig also wants a drastic reduction in electricity costs for residents of places where wind power is produced. The expansion of the power grids to the south would have to be much faster. Without the requirements of the federal government electricity could be much cheaper today, said Günther.
Minister of Economic Affairs Altmaier defended his proposal to set a minimum distance of 1,000 meters to residential buildings for wind turbines. He also wanted a competitive wind power industry. "In the end, that will only work if we take the resistance that exists seriously," he said. He was convinced that the number of permits for new wind turbines would rise again in the coming year. Günther reproached his party friend for complicating the expansion. "We do not need federal regulation," he said about the distance rule. An opening clause for countries helps little because they would then have to argue to wind power critics why they voted for a smaller distance than the federal government.