September 18, 2017

German state plans 1.5km setback; North Rhine–Westphalia decree would also ban wind farms in forests

18/09/2017 |

The new CDU/FDP coalition government in Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine–Westphalia, has issued an amended decree with new setback distance rules for wind farms.

Developers would need to consider a minimum distance of 1.5km from municipalities and would no longer be allowed to install wind farms in forests, according to the decree.

Stakeholders have until 20 October to comment on the decree, with two hearings planned.

The decree could enter into force early next year, the government said.

The new rules would slash wind power expansion plans in the state, starting in 2019, putting the sector at risk, a group of 60 wind industry companies warned in a joint statement last month.

Last year, some 220 turbines were installed in North Rhine–Westphalia.

Developers also obtained construction licenses for an additional 450 machines with a cumulative capacity of 1.2GW.

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