What the slack in wind power in the west means for climate protection

Upper Austria’s State Energy Councilor Markus Achleitner believes that Upper Austria no longer has a location that is suitable for wind power.

In its energy strategy “Energie-Leitregion Oberösterreich 2050”, Upper Austria has two main focal points, with which both a contribution to the achievement of the climate goals and the economic opportunities of the energy transition are to be used: increasing energy efficiency and the increased use of renewable energy sources: In view of the increased use of renewable energies, Upper Austria is focusing above all on the expansion of hydropower and photovoltaics, “said KURIER.

A written statement also stated: “Wind power plays a subordinate role in Upper Austria because, on the one hand, there are fewer locations with sufficient wind exposure due to the topography. Likewise, any projects are restricted by statutory distance regulations and nature conservation provisions – for example with regard to bird protection, wildlife corridors or landscape protection criteria – Difficult or prevented. Therefore, the so-called “wind power master plan” currently does not show any positive zones. For re-powering activities (i.e. increasing the capacity of existing plants), however, there are certain simplifications, e.g. shorter distances than for new construction in Upper Austria a wind power project in the planning stage: A 6th wind turbine in the wind farm in Munderfing. “

In Salzburg, where there is not a single wind turbine, the spokeswoman for State Energy Councilor Heinrich Schellhorn points out that no wind farm has yet been built due to “technical, economic and social reasons”. But that needs to be changed, “Wind power should be a smaller but important part of the mix of renewable energies in Salzburg”: “The climate and energy policy master plan of the state of Salzburg is the climate and energy strategy SALZBURG 2050 (www.salzburg2050.at), that is, by 2050, Salzburg should be climate-neutral, energy-autonomous and sustainable with 100 percent electricity and heat from renewable energies and zero greenhouse gas emissions. The master plan for the next 10 years is currently being drawn up. It is clear that in order to achieve both the federal and state targets, there has to be a move away from fossil fuels towards renewables as quickly as possible. Of course, all forms of renewable energies must be included here. Wind power is supposed to be a smaller but more important part of the mix of renewable energies in Salzburg, as wind power can compensate for the weaker solar and water power, especially in winter. To date, Salzburg still has to import fossil fuels for over 800 million euros a year (including nuclear power). That is true it to change. Other focal points in Salzburg are also the exit from oil heating in the building sector and the change in mobility, since traffic is generally the number one climate offender. ”

So far, no expansion plans are known from Tyrol and Vorarlberg.

The IG Windkraft is not very happy about the specific regulations in each federal state: “In the federal structure of Austria, the expansion of wind power is also regulated differently in all federal states. Of course, a uniform regulation would be desirable here. The positive development in recent years in Lower Austria, Burgenland and Styria shows that this is not absolutely necessary for wind power expansion to be possible. It is therefore more important that there are useful framework conditions for the expansion of wind power in all federal states. This is currently not the case in some federal states. “

Wind power spokesman Jaksch-Fliegenschnee remains optimistic: “At the beginning of the century, the question was how the energy transition could be implemented technically and economically. In the last 20 years the technical question has been resolved and the discussion about costs has also changed. Today wind and solar power plants are among the cheapest types of electricity generation. All surveys also show that a large majority of the population wants the energy transition. Today it is only up to politics to finally enable the energy transition. For this we need a policy, both at federal and state level, that takes care of the energy transition and its implementation. “


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