New study: Expansion of renewable energies could save billions

1500 new wind turbines are required for climate protection every year
When new wind turbines are to be built, there are often protests. here, however, thousands of new wind turbines will be needed in the coming years, says the energy industry.

The energy association considers around 1500 new wind turbines on land to be necessary up to 2030 in order to be able to achieve climate targets.

“We need the turbo now,” said Kerstin Andreae, General Manager of the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management, At the same time, she called for reforms, for example in species protection, for more areas. In addition, the acceptance for wind turbines must be increased.

According to the Wind Energy Association, only 420 wind turbines were built last year. There are currently around 30,000 wind turbines here. From an industry perspective, the expansion of onshore wind power is hampered by lengthy planning and approval procedures. In addition, there are too few designated areas and many lawsuits for species protection reasons, for example. There are often protests against new wind turbines on site.

Increase acceptance of renewable energies

From the perspective of the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management, an increase in the installed capacity to 100 gigawatts for onshore wind power is required for the 2030 climate targets. At the end of 2020, the installed capacity was around 55 gigawatts. “In order to achieve climate neutrality by 2045, we need an additional 1,500 wind turbines per year by 2030.”, said Andreae. Much will happen through repowering – new wind turbines replace old ones, but the new ones can generate a lot more electricity. Although there are simplifications for planning and approvals, that is not enough.

The acceptance for the expansion of renewable energies must be further increased. The financial participation of local authorities in wind farms is very important. “In my opinion, the importance of local value creation is greatly underestimated,” said Andreae. “We are in an economic phase in which we need a signal to start.” These are also projects in renewable energies.

“Gap between climate goals and the required framework”
Politicians recently raised climate targets. This was also a reaction to the ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court, which basically said: drastic steps to reduce emissions must not be put on the back burner at the expense of the younger generation.

But Andreae criticized: “There is a gap between the climate targets and the required framework. The companies are committed to the goal of climate neutrality. ”The economy no longer discusses whether and when, but how. “But she needs a toolkit in order to achieve the goals. Climate protection needs goals, but it can only come about through investments. ”The energy industry is at the heart of this transformation.

“When it comes to renewable energies, many companies are in the starting blocks. They could implement wind projects, they have strategies for bringing solar energy to the roofs. However, the framework conditions must be improved. ”The decisive factor in renewable energies is the areas. There are too few designated areas. In addition, planning and approval procedures would have to be significantly accelerated.

Agreement with conservationists

Andreae called for reforms. “Species protection is the protection of the species. If we don’t manage the energy turnaround, the negative consequences such as the dryness of the forests and other climate changes will endanger many species as a whole. That means we have to find a regulation that puts the protection of the species in the foreground, but not the protection of each individual bird. ”The Federal Association of Energy and Water Management is in intensive discussions with the nature conservation associations.

From the point of view of companies and the industry, a standardization of species protection law would be helpful, so that there are at least the same regulations in all federal states and not 16 different sets of rules in 16 federal states. The federal states would have to exhaust their leeway for more space. “That doesn’t mean to discuss minimum clearances again, it means to find clever solutions for the urgently needed space.”

The energy transition should create added value

The expansion of offshore wind power and photovoltaics must also be accelerated. “If the increased climate targets can also be achieved, we must all do a real sprint together,” said Andreae. “You no longer do that with simple trainers, you have to use trainers with spikes.”

There would be no energy transition without the expansion of renewable energies. “We have to make it much clearer that the energy transition is a promising future project. The chances are not only that we achieve climate neutrality, but that the energy transition can create additional local value and enable a clean and safe energy supply and the expansion of renewable energies could save billions.