Providing areas for onshore wind and permitting will continue to hamper Germany’s energy transition despite some improvements achieved in the recent amendment of the country’s Renewable Energies Act (EEG), wind energy federation BWE said in an analysis.

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The Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, in mid-December had passed what wind and solar groups described as a lackluster reform unfit to reach the government’s target for a 65% share of renewables in the power mix by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050.

“In addition to the provision of space, permits for new onshore wind energy projects are and will remain the bottleneck for the successful implementation of the Energiewende (energy transition) in 2021,” BWE president Hermann Albers said.

He added that many measures listed by economics and energy minister Peter Altmaier in 2019 to revive Germany’s collapsed onshore wind expansion still had not been tackled efficiently. The BWE has listed the state of each individual measure in an updated analysis (link to the list in German:

“Even questions that are easy to clarify, such as adapting the distances to radio beacons to international standards, have not yet been clarified after more than a year.”

The wind power sector earlier had already complained that the EEG amendment didn’t provide measures seen as effective enough to foster the repowering of large volumes of renewable energy capacity that will lose their subsidies under the EEG legislation after 20 years.

The government has promised to add additional measures during the first quarter of next year and adapt its expansion targets to the EU’s new emission reduction target of 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

Energy minister Altmaier by contrast today praised the EEG amendment, calling it a central step for the Energiewende.

“The EEG amendment 2021 will come into force on January 1, 2021 as planned. This is a clear signal for more climate protection and more renewable energies,” Altmaier said.

“The new EEG creates the framework to achieve the goal of 65% renewable energies by 2030 and greenhouse gas neutrality in the power supply in Germany before the year 2050.”

Under the amended law, wind farms that fall out of the EEG support scheme after 20 years and cannot be repowered, initially will receive a small top-up premium on the wholesale power price for a short period of time, and then be allowed to take part in a special tenders in the second half of next year for a remaining period until the end of 2022.