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Cabinet Response to Federal Council’s Rejection of Länder Opening Clause to Stipulate Minimum Wind Power Distances

The Federal Government intends to uphold a bill amending the Federal Building Code so as to give the federal states (Länder) the right to legislate on minimum distances for wind power plants. The minimum wind power distance bill is part of the wider EEG 2.0 reform package.  The decision came in response to last week’s negative statement [1] by the Federal Council (Bundesrat) concerning the bill.

Bundesrat had called the bill unnecessary, saying there was no need as the existing laws would provide enough opportunities to stipulate suitable distances. Besides, the bill was counterproductive regarding the energy policy shift towards a renewable energy supply. The energy transition (Energiewende) was a national task that all federal states had to pursue together. This required a uniform regulatory framework. Furthermore the bill would create follow-up problems for the federal states and did not contain transitional provisions, e.g. regarding the legal status of minimum distances introduces by the states and existing wind power plant locations. This involved the risk of claims for damages.

Government responded by saying the bill formed part of the coalition agreement between the ruling CDU, SPD and CSU parties. Besides, the possibility for the states to stipulate minimum distances included the obligation of the states to clarify legal issues before introducing such clause.

Source: Bundestag (ref. no. 18/1580 [2])

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