By Pierre L. Gosselin
German Bavarian Broadcasting, Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), has a report on wind energy in the southeastern state that is famous for its Oktoberfest, dirndls and lederhosen. It appears the brakes have been effectively applied to the scenery pollution industry.
Bavaria is also home to some of the country’s most idyllic landscapes. But unfortunately Germany’s “Greens” have been pushing hard to industrialize this precious natural treasure – all with the aim of saving the planet. They have proposed the construction of dozens of wind parks of 200-meter tall turbines across the country side.
In the early days wind turbines were viewed as sort of a novelty and many communities even lobbied to get them. However, as wind parks sprouted across the country, people woke up to the natural destruction and overall inefficiency the wind energy has wreaked. Today, the BR report tells us that the tipping point has been reached: wind parks are no longer welcome; They’re too ugly, noisy, inefficient and only a very few profit from them at the expense of the many.
The BR report features one Bavarian village, Obbach, where a wind park with five 200-meter tall turbines was installed just 800 hundred meters away. Unfortunately for the village the park had been approved before Germany’s 10-H rule was enacted, and so construction went ahead much to the dissatisfaction of the village residents. The 10-H rule stipulates that no turbine may be closer to a living area than 10 times its height. Had the rule been enacted sooner, it would not have been possible to put up the park and the Obbach’s residents would have been spared the eyesore and noise.
Resident Andrea Lettowsky tells BR:
For me I keep thinking about how this used to be a beautiful landscape with open fields, and now it’s an industrial zone.”
That’s pretty much the sentiment that has spread across Germany, and with the 10-H rule Bavaria is leading the way in the country’s growing resistance to landscape spoilage by inefficient wind power. Already over 300 citizens initiatives have formed to resist the construction of new parks across the country. Moreover, recent reports tell us the German government is poised to scale back on renewable energies, aiming to cap it at 40 – 45% of total energy supply by 2025, according to the Berliner Zeitung.
The BR reports that although it is too late for Obbach, the new 10H rule is welcome and now gives communities the power to stop wind park projects that are aggressively pushed by deep-pocketed outside investors. Though it’s regrettable the park could not be stopped, Lettowsky is optimistic that other projects will be stopped elsewhere. The BR report concludes:
The fact is that the 10-H rule and the resistance from the citizens have pretty much put the brakes on further wind park construction in Bavaria.”
Indeed, thanks to forward looking states like Bavaria, the renewable energy tide is changing for the better.