Wind power row: Sodder warns HABC of ‘breaking the word’

Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) has warned Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (the Greens) not to break his word in the debate over the expansion of wind energy in Bavaria. Soder said after a meeting of the CSU board of directors in Munich over the weekend, the impression arose “that there might be a breach of word on the 10 o’clock question,” adding: “We expect the commitments from January to be in effect.”

10h rule: the continuing feud between Bavaria and Berlin

The dispute between Bavaria and Berlin over wind energy has raged for months. Specifically, it concerns the 10H rule applied in Bavaria, which establishes the minimum distance between a wind turbine and the nearest residential area. If the distance between the wind turbine and the settlement is at least ten times its height (usually 2000 meters), approval becomes very difficult.

While the Bavarian state government wants to stick to the 10H rule anyway, Federal Economy Minister Habeck wants to boost the expansion of wind energy in Germany. He sees the ten-hour rule in Bavaria as an obstacle to his plans. In fact, the construction of wind turbines in Bavaria has virtually ceased since the introduction of the 10H rule. However, expansion of wind power in other federal states would not progress without the corresponding 10H rule.

Soder Wabeck in January: Bavaria should present a concept

From a purely legal point of view, the federal government could also rescind the rule against the will of Bavaria. However, Habeck stressed several times that it depends on a solution that all parties can support. He confirmed this during his visit to Bavaria earlier this year. Habeck and Soder agreed in January that the state government would explain to the federal government by March how it intended to expand wind power despite the 10H rule.

Habik increases pressure

But last weekend, at a small Bavarian Green Party conference, Habek sharpened the tone and called on the state to change its stance on expanding wind power. “Refusal of a difficult discussion is not a contribution to the solution,” he said at the party conference. Habek said in a video message that the expansion of renewable energies not only enhances the ability to act on foreign policy, but also becomes the critical criterion for future value creation. “The tide has literally turned,” Habeck said.

Habeck is still waiting for the idea of ​​the promised energy from Bavaria, which was supposed to go to Berlin in March. Bayern will send him this week, Soder confirmed and indicated that he expects positive feedback from the federal government. Nobody in Berlin can not remember the agreement signed in January. At the time, Habeck promised that the controversial 10-H rule would not fall automatically if Bavaria guaranteed in return that the required areas and wind turbines would be possible.

Improvements: 10H base cushioned

The Bavarian energy concept is scheduled to be discussed by the Bavarian Cabinet on Tuesday. One thing is already certain: The controversial 10H rule will be relaxed. Meanwhile, the Christian Social Union in the Bavarian state parliament, which is a staunch advocate of the distance rule, also agreed. Basically, the minimum distance between plants and settlements should be reduced from 2000 to 1000 meters in some cases. For example along highways and railways in industrial and forest areas. The same applies when the existing wind turbines are replaced by more modern ones, as well as in the so-called priority areas of wind energy, which must be determined by all regional planning associations within two years at the latest.

Bavaria’s energy concept: less than 10 hours, more hydro and no nuclear phase-out for now

However, Söder also declared that the concept of Bavarian energy would go beyond simply relaxing the 10H rule. Among other things, the CSU leader calls for a faster expansion of power lines and equal treatment of all renewable energies. The federal government neglects photovoltaic and hydropower. “The federal government places a clear priority only when there is wind,” Sodder criticizes.

The CSU chief also called on the federal government again to allow nuclear power plants to operate for longer. It is clear to him that Germany will permanently stop nuclear power. However, Germany cannot be the only country in Europe that is committed to a rapid phase-out of nuclear weapons and at the same time demands energy independence from Russia.

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