Two days before the planned meeting between Economics and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) and Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) on wind power, the Munich City Hall coalition is sending a clear signal to the two top politicians. In a joint motion, the parliamentary groups of the Greens/Pink List and SPD/Volt demand that Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD) campaign for the federal government to make the construction of wind turbines significantly easier. “A new legal regulation would have a significant impact on expanded opportunities in our Munich region,” says the joint statement by Green-Red.
According to the coalition in Munich City Hall, the 10-H regulation that applies in Bavaria, according to which a wind turbine should be at least ten times the height of the wind turbine to a residential building, could simply be overturned by deleting the so-called state opening clause in the Federal Building Code. The existing 10-H regulation restricts the possibilities for expanding wind power, “that economic operation is difficult to achieve”.
In 2020, only three wind turbines were newly built in Bavaria
It is important to the green-red coalition in Munich that, in addition to community wind power plants, the Munich public utility company in particular should be able to expand its renewable energy sources at a regional level. But the expansion of wind energy in Germany has declined by more than 40 percent since 2015. The development in Bavaria is particularly dramatic, where according to Green-Red only three plants were built in 2020, where the 10-H rule applies, but 770 wind turbines nationwide.
The Greens and the SPD are also concerned that the requirements for species protection reports to set up a wind turbine at all have risen so much that the costs for the report have increased tenfold within ten years to around 100,000 euros. But this is not financially feasible, especially for community wind power initiatives. It was only in autumn that Green City Councilor Bernd Schreyer brought citizen wind turbines in the forest box into play. In his opinion, parts of the forest belonging to the Heiliggeistspital Foundation could in future not be used for gravel mining, but for wind power.
But this idea has now been dampened. Günter Beermann, whose Munich-based company Beermann Energiesysteme installed Munich’s first wind turbine in Fröttmaning in 1999, is skeptical about the project. “Technically it is possible, including wind technology,” says the founder and managing director of the company. “But it’s not possible in the forest box for other reasons.” The forest is then intended as a priority area for gravel extraction. In order to be able to set up wind turbines there, the regional plan would first have to be changed. In addition, there could be problems with the noise limit values if a wind turbine were to be built too close to a residential area. For Beermann it is clear: “Forst Kasten is really not an option.”
Fridays for Future activists are calling for more concrete steps towards climate neutrality
This Wednesday, the city council will adopt the express decision of principle II on the goal of climate neutrality by 2035. Munich activists from the Fridays for Future movement want to demonstrate from 8 a.m. in front of the meeting place in the Showpalast in Fröttmaning with a 60-meter-long banner. They call for more concrete steps to achieve climate neutrality in Munich. The climate protectors “welcome the fundamental thrust of the fundamental decision”.
However, they criticize “the lack of concepts for important areas such as the economy and services as well as lifestyles”. Clara Bosch, spokeswoman for Fridays for Future Munich, emphasizes: “No one denies that the 2035 target is very ambitious. Nevertheless, given the many unknowns and possible scope, it must not be written off as unattainable – we must continue to try to initiate major transformations as quickly as possible.”