More than 400 wind turbines in Brandenburg to be decommissioned

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Tue 7th Sep, 2021

Many wind turbines, for which the 20-year subsidy under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) is due to expire, will soon be decommissioned. Continued operation is no longer economically viable.

By the end of 2020, the decommissioning of 429 plants in Brandenburg has been notified, the Ministry of the Environment in Potsdam announced in response to an inquiry from the state parliamentary group of BVB/Freie Wähler.Currently, there are about 3900 plants in Brandenburg - with a total capacity of about 7730 megawatts.

For plants that were commissioned by the end of 2000, the subsidy expired at the end of last year. In the coming years, several thousand wind turbines will be taken off the grid nationwide. It is unclear at how many sites new wind turbines can be erected. This is known as repowering.

According to the German Wind Energy Agency, which advises the public sector, companies and nature conservation associations, dismantling involves large quantities of material, which should be recycled without leaving any residue if possible. So far, there are no uniform legal requirements for the authorities, the agency writes on the Internet. Communities could however promote the replacement of older plants by modern ones purposefully.

Free voters: Order deconstruction within three years

The BVB/Freie Wähler member of the state parliament Christine Wernicke considers a time requirement for the dismantling of decommissioned wind turbines to be essential. It could not be that there is a deconstruction obligation, but no sanctions if it does not happen. "The ideal would be a time window of three years until the completion of a dismantling," she said.

Wernicke also believes the legal requirement for complete dismantling is impractical. "The foundations of some of the plants are built deep into the earth. Groundwater veins have been destroyed there."

Economics Minister Jörg Steinbach (SPD) had announced that he wanted to increase the expansion targets for wind and solar energy in the planned Energy Strategy 2040. According to him, this will lead to an increase in the percentage of land required for wind turbines, which is controversial. The red-black-green coalition had decided on an expansion to 10,500 megawatts by 2030 and limited the share of the state's land for wind power to two percent.

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