Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Windmill Story

We had an interesting court episode come up in Hessen (my local German state).

There's a law on the books that applies to windmill installation.  When you are putting up a massive unit (not the mini-units for houses themselves).....there's a law which says you need to keep the windmill 1,000 meters (one kilometer) away from a town or settlement.

A company got into some planning stages and wanted a variation on this....instead of using a flat-rate distance....they wanted a 'weighted' distance.  Nothing is really clear about how you'd weigh this....maybe some barrier.....maybe it's a farm and not a 'burb'.....that part was left out of the story.

So the German judge looked over things and took the natural view.....the 1,000 meter rule applies to all existing and planned residences, period.   No weighted scheme.

How big of a deal is this windmill business?  If you travel around Rhineland Pfalz (our state to the south).....across the river....you can't travel more than five kilometers without bumping into a windmill operation.  Across the big open plain that exists in the Pfalz.....there are hundreds of these windmills.

In Hessen.....well....there's been a fight.  Public sentiment is more negative and you've got every single possible argument being thrown at stopping windmill growth in the region. Oddly, it was the environmental argument that got people all pepped up thirty years ago in Germany to accept this idea, and today.....the same people are generally against windmills.

End of the discussion for distance from a settlement?  Maybe.

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