Guidehouse Study Shows Potential-Based Distribution of 2% Area Target for Onshore Wind Energy Among Federal States

Onshore wind potential in Germany sufficient to designate 2 % of the land for wind energy

In a project for the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action (BMWK), Guidehouse, Fraunhofer Institut für Energiewirtschaft und Energiesystemtechnik (IEE), Bosch & Partner, and Stiftung Umweltenergierecht have assessed the nationwide, long-term area potential for onshore wind energy.

The German government plans to usher in the federal act “Windflächenbedarfsgesetz” that would allow 2% of German land area to be designated to onshore wind energy by 2032 and 1.4% by 2026. The study shows, based on an area potential analysis with uniformly defined nationwide criteria, that a 2% target area can be achieved by designating sufficient areas. In a baseline scenario, the land potential is 4.5% of the total land area. The spatial assessment carried out to determine the area potential considers the varying degrees of conflict risks.

The analysis also shows that the remaining land potential would not be sufficient to achieve the 2% target if all forest areas were excluded and if very high settlement distances (1000 meters for residential areas) are specified.

Furthermore, Guidehouse investigated which possibilities exist for a potential-based distribution of the area target between the federal states. In federal states, with a relatively low proportion of excluded areas, there may be high conflict risks on the non-excluded areas, which would prevent the areas from being used extensively. A potential-based distribution of the area target should therefore not be based purely on a consideration of the excluded areas but should take into account the different conflict risks of non-excluded areas as well as the different preconditions of the federal states.

Download the German report from the Ministry website.

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