Sebastian Grosch knows what a wind turbine is in southern Germany. Maneuvering a rotor blade in the Black Forest instead of setting it up somewhere in the plains of northern Germany, which costs money. “Either you have to expand first or even build new paths on impassable land. Grosch is responsible for the development of the national project within the Bremen wind farm company WPD. Grosch wants to illustrate with his example that anyone who wants to build a wind turbine in the south has to get more money for electricity in order for it to be profitable.
This is what the legislator thought when he introduced a special quota for wind farms in southern Germany in the latest amendment to the Renewable Energy Act (EEG): the southern quota. It followed the new logic of the law on green electricity, according to which tenders decide the level of remuneration. All projects can apply for rewards which win the bids with the lowest claims. Because projects in difficult terrain are abandoned with this procedure, 15% of calls for tenders are to be reserved for projects in the south in 2022 and 2023. After all, electricity is also needed in the south, and the large networks in the north -south are still lacking. There is only one catch: it requires approval of EU state aid. And 2022 is not so far away.
In 2020, only twelve new wind turbines were built in Baden-Württemberg
In mid-July Baden-Württemberg Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann knocked on the Federal Chancellery and asked for help, but according to SZ reports the response was not particularly productive. In any event, the Chancellor could not offer any short-term approval. In case of doubt, new projects should assert themselves in the national competition. This is causing some excitement in Stuttgart. Because Kretschmann is under pressure. He keeps asking himself why so few wind turbines have been installed in Baden-Württemberg in recent years.
Kretschmann sees the blame for this mainly in Berlin: “With its EEG reform in 2017, the grand coalition ensured that wind power fell drastically across Germany and that far too few wind turbines were built in the south of the country, ”he said. “You can’t tie the legs of countries together and then bemoan that they don’t take big jumps.” The southern quota was only created through the use of Baden-Württemberg. The fact that potential investors must now continue to wait for Brussels is “also fatal from an economic point of view”.
At least there is still time. The first submission dates for which the southern quota would apply are early February for wind projects and early March for biomass. The ministry responsible for the economy says they are in “close exchange and negotiations” with the European Commission. These conversations were still going on. “However, all involved are aware that they must be completed in good time before these tender dates.”