Bavaria’s Economics Minister Hubert Aiwanger firmly expects the controversial 10H distance rule for the construction of wind turbines to be relaxed. He assumes that the rule will be opened “at many points”, “from the priority and reserved areas to forests to military training areas, commercial and industrial areas,” said the Free Voters boss on Tuesday after a meeting of the Bavarian Cabinet in Munich. In this way, more and more electricity can be “generated on site and also be used directly again”. Since the Ukraine war and the rising energy costs, there have also been more signals from the economy calling for renewable energies to be promoted as a location factor, said Aiwanger.
The 10-H rule defines the minimum distance between a wind turbine and the next settlement – this must correspond to ten times the height of the turbine. Since its introduction, the expansion of wind power in Bavaria has practically come to a standstill. Aiwanger was confident that the CSU parliamentary group in the state parliament – unlike in the past – had recognized the need for easing.
On Wednesday, the members of the state parliament want to discuss the topic in their parliamentary group meeting. With regard to the use of hydropower, Aiwanger accused the federal government of blocking it: “We are massively criticizing what the federal government is currently planning: to shoot down hydropower in Bavaria.” The federal government wants to remove small hydropower plants with an output of up to 500 kW from the EEG funding.
More than 60 percent of the small hydroelectric power plants are in Bavaria. “We can’t do without them,” said Aiwanger. More than 3,000 systems would be affected throughout Bavaria. This means the power supply for a government district like Lower Bavaria. The Free State will therefore introduce appropriate corrections in the Bundesrat.
To ensure the power supply, the cabinet also decided to increase the number of staff in the Bavarian licensing authorities. This also enables faster approvals for construction projects in the distribution network. Because of the expansion of large open-space photovoltaic systems and other decentralized renewable energies, the distribution grids in the country would have to be “fundamentally converted and expanded,” it said.