October 7, 2019 / 10:45 AM / 11 days ago

Germany presents plan to strengthen onshore wind power after lull

FILE PHOTO: German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, October 2, 2019. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s Economy Ministry on Monday presented a schedule to help revive onshore wind turbine construction that has declined due to bureaucracy and citizens’ opposition, hampering efforts to build up renewable energy and meet climate targets.

Among 18 measures to be completed in 2019 and 2020, the ministry said German states must agree to alter nighttime signals that turbines give out for aircraft so that residents nearby are no longer disturbed by their constant flashing.

The ministry said various wildlife regulations needed to be aligned and added that new turbines should be built in step with the expansion of electricity networks.

“The plan serves as an important step towards boosting onshore wind and helping renewable power reach a 65% share of total power consumption in 2030,” the ministry said in a press release.

Onshore turbine constructions fell 82% to 287 megawatts in the first half of 2019, the lowest level in nearly two decades.

The ministry said progress would now come from responsible parties within the government being named and accountabilities being shared between the federal government, individual states and municipalities.

The move came in the wake of a crisis meeting last month between Economy Minister Peter Altmaier and industry representatives.

The plan presented on Monday identified stumbling blocks within the country’s federal structure and promised action on open technical, environmental and legal questions.

Companies such as Siemens Gamesa (SGREN.MC), Nordex (NDXG.DE) and Vestas VWS.CP - which make wind turbines - depend on the government’s initiative to revive business prospects.

Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Michelle Martin

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