Daniel Wetzel at WELT reports on a new nationwide anti-wind organization recently founded in Germany. The name of the new lobby group is “Vernunftkraft” (reason power). I am not linking to them, but I think that’s an interesting name. I was not aware that you could make electricity from your power of reasoning, but maybe I missed some technological breakthrough while I was distracted by the Bitcoin network.
Anyway, as the article describes, they want to petition the German legislation to end the privileges for wind power under the German building regulations (Bundesbaugesetzbuch). I don’t think they will get anywhere with that, since the enemies of renewable energy FDP have been booted out of the German Bundestag in last year’s elections (hooray again for that).
And this is a good opportunity to take a look at Article 35 of the Bundesbaugesetzbuch. In Paragraph one, it mentions different methods of generating power, with some of them allowed to be built even in the “undesignated outlying area” (Aussenbereich), which basically means outside of towns as well as outside areas within a binding land-use plan.
Wind power is one of them (Number 5), along with hydro power.
In contrast, solar can only be built on rooftops of buildings that are legal in the “undesignated outlying area” in the first place, Number 8. That is actually more generous than until a liberalization in 2012, which introduced this exception in reaction to a court case.
Nuclear energy used to get a free pass under Number 7, but that has been amended to make it clear that the exception does not apply anymore to building of new nuclear power plants. No one would dream of building new nuclear in Germany anyway, so this change does not have much practical relevance.
There are also rules on biomass generation (Number 6). Biomass energy plants can be built as an accessory to farms (which are allowed under Numbers 1, 2, and 4), within certain thresholds.
So, as long as the enemies of wind energy from the “reason power” movement don’t succeed with their petition, wind and hydro are the most privileged forms of renewable energy under Article 35. Solar and biomass are restricted, and new nuclear is shut out.
I am not sure why solar energy needs to be restricted to rooftop installations in “undesigned outlying areas”. But that problem is not very relevant anymore, since people have not much incentive to build solar power installations directly on the ground. Such installations don’t qualify for feed-in-tariff payments since 2010.