May 21, 2024

Community wind farms – when communities, businesses and residents plan their own wind farms – News

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The community wind farm concept aims to involve local residents in planning. What has been successfully implemented several times in Germany is now also planned at Escholzmatt LU.

In Switzerland, wind energy projects are frequently blocked or at least delayed due to objections from individuals or organizations. Most recent example: In the case of the Bel Coster wind farm near Vallorbe VD, the Federal Court decided that additional clarifications on environmental compatibility should be made as part of use planning.

In order to better engage local residents and attract critics, the concept of urban wind farms was developed in Germany. The idea behind it: Communities, businesses, residents and landowners create a local company that will plan and operate one or more wind turbines. You decide – of course within the framework of planning regulations – as to locations, types of systems and duration of operation. They themselves benefit from cheap electricity, from orders made to local companies, and often from profits generated from wind farm income.

Role model: Germany

Although large offshore wind farms are mostly operated by large electricity companies, a large proportion of new wind farms being built on land in Germany are based on the community wind farm concept. In the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein in particular, where the share of wind energy is at its highest, community wind farms are now being built almost exclusively.

“The citizen’s energy is directed towards the goals of the common good: behind it is the idea of ​​economic activity based on self-determination, participatory and sustainable.” So says the German agency specializing in onshore wind energy. Community energy plays “a critical role in implementing a socially responsible energy transition and is therefore of paramount social and political importance.”

There are also similar projects in Switzerland. For example, sponsor Georg Perseghel, who has already built 500 wind turbines with other partners in Germany, plans to establish a wind farm with three wind turbines on the Höch-Turner-Bock ridge at 1,200 meters above sea level in Escholzmatt LU with His partners. Windenergie Schweiz AG. “We sat at the kitchen table with all the residents,” Persigil says on the Turner River, looking out at the surrounding farms. Everyone will be included, and concerns will be taken seriously and, if possible, factored into the planning.

Wind turbines

legend:

This is what the planned wind turbines will look like (above left and right) above Escholzmatt according to Windenergie Schweiz AG.

Visualization of wind energy company Switzerland AG

Janet Redvig, the responsible local councilor at Scholzmatt Marbach, is convinced by the idea: “This is a generational project. You must engage people and provide them with transparent information; This is the only way to implement a project like this. Meanwhile, in the village, you are more likely to be asked when it will finally start than to express substantive criticism of the project, the centrist politician asserts.