Rhineland-Palatinate: Government Approves Update of State Development Programme for Expansion of Renewable Energy

Following a comprehensive consultation process, the government of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate approved an update of State Development Programme (LEP IV) with regard to the expansion of renewable energy, in particular wind power.

Rhineland-Palatinate intends to increase the share of renewable energy sources to 100% by 2030. Wind power in particular shall play a key role.  Until 2020 wind power generation shall quadruple from 2.1 TWh in 2011 to 8.4 TWh, and PV generation shall increase from 0.94 TWh in 2011 to more than 2 TWh.

By stipulating detailed principles and objectives in LEP IV the government wants to better manage and influence the growth of renewable power.

The key points of the LEP IV amendment can be summed up as follows:

  • Exclusion of wind farms in certain areas of cultural or natural heritage
  • Municipalities shall make every attempt to designate areas for renewable energy. Clusters of wind power shall be established in so-called priority areas (Vorranggebiete) and concentration areas (Konzentrationsflächen). At least 2% of the state’s territory and 2% of the woodlands shall be designated as areas suitable for wind power plants.
  • Freestanding PV power plants shall in particular be constructed on civil and military conversion areas as well as on farm- and greenland with low-yielding or contaminated soil or a low diversity of species. 

The regional planning authorities have to align the regional plans with LEP IV within the next 18 months, designating priority as well as exclusion zones. Beyond these zones they have the right to individual planning, the government said, pointing out that LEP IV did not mandate wind power, but designated areas in which wind power plants were possible. In areas in which the majority of citizens rejected them, they would not be built, the government said, adding that 94% of the state’s territory was not suitable for wind energy use anyway.

The Cabinet of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate recently also approved the draft of a new wind power decree and submitted it for review by the associations concerned, i.e. the municipal, environmental and energy associations. The government announced to debate the matter again following the review and publish the decree once the amendment of the State Development Programme (LEP IV) had entered into force.

Source: State of Rhineland Palatinate

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