Wind Energy: Engage, Involve, Energize!

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Germany germany


Overall summary


State of play wind capacity installed and 2020 target

Cumulative onshore capacity - end 2014: 38,368.70 MW

NREAP target 2020 (onshore): 35,750 MW

Sources: European Wind Energy Association; German Renewable Energy Federation; European Commission, DG Energy, National Action Plan


Legal framework for information and engagement measures

Legal framework for wind energy parks in municipalities:

  • Article 3 BauGB (Building Law)
  • Article 205 Abs. 1 BauGB,, Article 204 Abs. 1 S. 1-3 BauGB, and Article 204 Abs. 1 S.4 BauGB, kommunale Planungshoheit (Communal Planning Sovereignty) (page 28, 34)

Article 3 UVPG (Environmental Impact Assessment Law):

  • 1 to 2 Wind turbines: no obligatory citizen participation (§ 19 BImSchG, Act on the prevention of harmful effects on the environment caused by air pollution, noise, vibration and similar phenomena),
  • Wind parks (3-19 turbines): after a preliminary review, may need an environmental impact assessment, including an emissions protection permit (with citizen participation) (Art. 10 BImSchG). Citizen participation means:
    a) Providing information on environmental impacts of the wind park/turbines to the public (UIG, Environmental Information Law),
    b) The possibility for citizens to raise objections within a certain time (Article 10 BImSchG).
  • Wind parks (20+ turbines): environmental impact assessment and citizen participation are mandatory (Art. 10 BImSchG)

Bundesregierung - Windenergie und Kommunen  (page 32, 35)

Art. 3 UIG (Environment Information Act)

If there is no environmental impact assessment and thus no citizen participation, citizens have the right to inform themselves about the environmental impact of the wind parks/turbines.

Income for municipalities:

  1. On average 70 per cent (%) of business taxes go to local authorities,
  2. Leasing income
    • about 5% of annual revenues of wind park operator
    • about 7-9.5% of feed-in remuneration
  3. Local employment  [page 16, 21]
  4. Handbuch


Legal framework for financial measures as outlined in this tool

There are several possibilities outlined by the German law:

  • Citizen wind farms, meaning citizens can acquire shares with private capital, communal value added through revenues, returns, taxes, leasing income, wind parks can support local establishments
  • Direct marketing of generated electricity possible
  • Innovative financing (bearer bonds, funds, saving bonds, "citizen funds")
  • Cooperation of numerous municipalities is possible

In terms of grid expansion, from spring 2015, new citizen's bureaus have been implemented: to provide information to the public, to feed the public's input back to authorities, and to answer questions, comments and queries from the public. Moreover, the participation of the public is encouraged and desired.


Current support schemes for renewables

Feed-in tariff: Before 1 August 2014 this was a fixed remuneration. This is still in place for older facilities and small new ones. New facilities: a market premium is paid to compensate for the difference between stipulated feed-in tariff and average trading price for electricity.

Fixed feed-in tariff in 2016: 9.77 € Cents/kWh

RES Legal website - Germany

Feed-in premium: Not applicable

Tax incentives:

  1. Low-interest loans for investments in new plants provided by KfW-programmes
  2. Quota system for renewables in transport
  3. Fiscal regulation for biofuel
  4. Purchasing priority for renewables
  5. Tax incentive for energy retrofits through subsidies or low-interest loans
  6. Tax credits for homeowners to promote the use of renewable energies for heating

Tenders: Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG 2014): Financial support for electricity from renewable energy sources (RE+G17S) is determined via competitive auctions (tenders) by 2017 at the latest.

Green certificates:

  1. National register of guarantees of origin: (Herkunftsnachweisregister)
  2. Quality labels for green energy: RECS Zertifikate (certificates), ok-power Label, GrünerStromLabel (green electricity label), TÜV Zertifikate (certificate of the German technical inspection association), Öko-Strom Label (eco-electricity label).
  3. No tradable green certificates (TGC, e.g. cf. Poland, Sweden etc.)

Renewable portfolio (Standard/Quota): Not applicable

Priority feed-in for wind energy: In place for renewable energy technologies in general.