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Thematic workshop of the WinWind project on "Fair participation of citizens and communities in wind energy development" on December 10, 2018 in Potsdam

News from Dec 14, 2018

The German Stakeholder Desk of the WinWind project held its third Thematic Workshop on December 10, 2018 in Potsdam on the premises of Brandenburg Invest (WFBB), the business development agency of the state of Brandenburg. The workshop focused on policies and measures aiming to improve procedural participation in regional planning and the designation of suitable sites and measures aiming to share benefits and added value with hosting municipalities. The event was organized by the German WinWind partners FFU- Freie Universität Berlin and seecon Ingenieure in cooperation with Brandenburg Invest (WFBB).

After an introduction to the major tasks and objectives of the WinWind project by Rosaria Di Nucci (FUB-FFU), Michael Krug (FUB-FFU) gave an overview of the current proposals for greater participation of local communities and acceptance policies, in connection with the new “Energiesammelgesetz”.

Three keynote speeches followed: Wolfgang Rump from the regional planning office Oderland-Spree addressed the participation of citizens and municipalities in the area designation of the planning region Oderland-Spree. In particular, he pointed out the “Windplandialog” as an informal participation instrument. Prof. Jochen Möller, Head of Unit at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy of the Land Brandenburg outlined current acceptance policy measures in Brandenburg ("6 Points Plan") and at the federal level. Finally, Sebastian Kunze, Head of the Association of Towns and Municipalities in Brandenburg, described the proposal for a feed-in concession levy and compared this model with other currently discussed models for regulation.

A policy roundtable complemented the workshop moderated by Ingo Arzt (taz). Apart from the keynote speakers, members of the panel were: Jan Hinrichs Glahr, Chairman of the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) Brandenburg, Heide Schinowsky, Bündnis 90 / DIE GRÜNEN parliamentary group in the Brandenburg Parliament and Claudia Henze, Head of the Regional Planning Office Uckermark-Barnim.

It was highlighted several times that the financial involvement of local communities is not a panacea. Besides that, an early and transparent information transfer to the citizens is equally important. Measures to improve distributive justice and procedural justice need to be brought together. Further promising approaches include regional electricity tariffs, resident tariffs and sector coupling measures as well as the creation of intermediary organisations, acting as a neutral contact point for municipalities and citizens.

WinWind investigates issues of social acceptance of wind energy, especially in regions with low wind energy development. In Germany, Thuringia and Saxony, are the target regions. Brandenburg and Schleswig-Holstein act as model regions. The documentation of the workshop will soon be available on the website of the WinWind project.