After hours of debate yesterday here in Wiesbaden....the regional council finally voted on the expansion of windmills onto the Taunus ridge overlooking the valley and the city. A couple of "no-votes" were registered, but they had more than enough to pass the project. As I've written on for the past couple of months....here in the Rhine Valley, it's been a hostile episode brewing.
For at least a decade....as you drove north in the Pfalz area (the German state to the south of Hessen) toward Mainz and Wiesbaden.....you'd notice dozens of windmills. Expansion has been a monthly episode. Last week, as I drove south toward Kaiserslautern, I noted two new mega-sized windmills going up. All total, from Kaisersalutern to Mainz, I'd take a guess that well over 100 wind-mills now exist within two or three miles of the autobahn route.
The expansion has finally reached the ridge on the south side of the Rhine River.....overlooking Mainz, and this by itself.....thus getting the Hessen state crowd frustrated. Landscape damage, Scenery encroachment. Terrain alteration.
So, as an energy company did the numbers and realized that wind flow over the Taunus ridge was a big deal.....the mere suggestion of putting up a wind-farm (maybe five or six windmills) on the ridge overlooking Wiesbaden itself.....got some folks all peppy.
The fight has gone on for a year, and the council has said it's part in approving the deal. The mayor....a SPD party member....even put it in blunt terms.....if you were against coal power and nuke power, you have zero choice in this matter but to accept wind power, wherever it might end being applied.
For me? It's a curious thing. My village is about two miles from the edge of where one of the wind-parks would be developed. The idea was to carve out around twenty-odd acres of wooded area (protected by the state, no less).....allowing an access road to be developed (maybe avoiding paving it, but there are dozens of fire-access roads there anyway)....and put up the wind-mills.
If they are mega-sized wind-mills.....I'd be able to easily sit on my balcony and notice them twirling during daylight hours. Amongst the four thousand residents of the village.....I'd take a guess that ten-percent will be extremely bothered and frustrated by the event, but there's not much you can say or do. The mayor of Wiesbaden is right.....if you are anti-nuke power, there's no real solution other than accepting the wind-mills as your "friend".