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    Germany set to speed up wind turbine approvals

    January 30, 2023 - dpa English


      Berlin (dpa) - The approval of wind turbines and power lines will accelerate in Germany with the implementation of new EU regulations.

      On Monday, the Cabinet started the process of putting the EU rules into effect, meaning that an environmental impact assessment for wind turbines will often no longer be necessary.

      Solar plants and heat pumps are also to be approved much more quickly in future, namely within three months.

      Small solar plants of up to 50 kilowatts are to be automatically considered approved unless the authorities register their opposition within a short period of time.

      "Today, the federal government has launched a wind expansion accelerator the likes of which we have never seen before," said Economy Minister Robert Habeck from the Green Party - one of the three parties in the centre-left coalition.

      The expansion of wind power plants and power lines will become significantly faster.

      The proposals will now go to a parliamentary vote.

      In broad terms, the new regulations mean that if there is already a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) covering an area designated for wind power or power lines, an environmental impact assessment and a species protection assessment can be omitted in the approval procedure for individual turbines.

      In order to protect species of wildlife that could potentially be threatened by the installations, the relevant authorities are to ensure that operators take "appropriate and proportionate avoidance and mitigation measures." If such measures do not exist, the operators must pay, for a kind of "species assistance programme."

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