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The development of wind energy on land is progressing only slowly. The opponents gain influence. The AfD is now mobilizing against new wind farms.

Renewable energy: The great doldrums

The development of wind energy on land is progressing only slowly. The opponents gain influence. The AfD is now mobilizing against new wind farms.

Renewable energy: The great doldrums
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  • Page 1 — great doldrums
  • Page 2 — wind turbines are becoming more powerful – and more expensive
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    In Kremmen, a small town in Brandenburg district of Berlin, conservationists, local politicians and concerned citizens have been fighting for years against wind power. They defend mselves against two planned wind farms on an area of about 450 hectares, which are to be built partly in a forest. Their motives are extremely different: some local residents criticize windmills in forest and complain about planned grubbing-up of trees. Ors, in turn, want to end energy turnaround, because y consider man-made climate change to be fake news.

    "Headwind in Kremmen" is one of hundreds of Antiwindkraftinitiativen that have been established throughout Germany in recent years. They have joined forces in "Rational Power" association, questioning energy turnaround and keeping nuclear phase out a serious mistake. Reason Power now speaks of 900 citizens ' initiatives in association, but this number is controversial, some experts consider about 500 citizens ' initiatives in Germany to be realistic.

    Although it is unclear how successful work of wind force is, one thing is obvious: struggle of citizens ' initiatives against renewable energies is becoming more and more professional. "Their influence is not to be underestimated at least in municipalities," says Eva Eichenauer of Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), which has taken a closer look at citizens ' initiatives for a research project. "The initiatives are now well networked and exchange views on how to successfully block", according to sociology. The exchange allows wind force opponents to formulate complex objections against permits or area tenders.

    Energy-turning opponents in AfD

    Eichenauer has investigated problems of acceptance in attributable for research project Energy conflicts, which was co-financed by Bundesforschungsminsterium. After all, development of wind power is controversial among many citizens, y fear for noise, health impairments and oft-quoted "asparagus" of landscape. Especially in municipalities re is fierce controversy over new parks and more powerful and ever higher wheels. "The tone in communities between supporters and opponents of energy turnaround has become harsher," says Eichenauer. This could also be turn of energy opponents in AfD. They would deliberately engage in citizens ' protest in municipalities. The AfD himself writes on her homepage that she supports protests against wind energy. "It would also be desirable, however, if re were even more headwinds and many citizens ' initiatives against actual perpetrators of this ' wind game '."

    It is not known how often citizens stop development of wind power in municipalities by input and wher success rate of critics is increasing. But number of approved wind turbines is actually declining. According to Federal Network agency, more than 3,100 plants were approved in year 2016. Last year it was only 450. In some federal states such as Bavaria re are hardly any more applications for new plants, in ors such as Schleswig-Holstein a moratorium prevents expansion.

    Neverless, wind industry cheered at end of last year: 1,800 plants with a total capacity of 5,000 megawatts were reconnected to land 2017 according to Wind Energy Agency. In total, according to Federal Association wind Energy, more than 28,600 wind turbines in Germany are now on land – this is Europe's record when one looks at performance of wind turbines. Because construction and commissioning of a wind turbine after approval still takes about a year, it could soon be over with boom, says agency spokesman Jürgen Quentin. The Federal Association Wind Power (BWE) also expects that extension will decline by one-third compared to previous year.

    This is not only due to wind power opponents. The industry itself obviously loses desire to invest. According to experts, this is also due to a new practice for wind farms, which is valid since January 2017. Instead of having every kilowatt-hour produced for 20 years guaranteed by state, wind park operators must now apply for projects. If you offer cheapest production price for a kilowatt-kilowatt of current, you get surcharge. The aim is to make energy turnaround more market-efficient. But this is apparently a less attractive model for wind farm entrepreneurs, number of bids is going back since beginning of year.

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