According to the President of Rhineland-Palatinate, Johannes Heger, Germany is not making any progress with the construction of new wind turbines. "We have been at a very low level since 2019. The knot has not yet burst," said the President of the State Association of Entrepreneurs' Associations (LVU) in an interview with the German Press Agency. The previous federal government under Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) pursued a "policy to prevent wind energy".
That has now changed significantly under the traffic light government in Berlin, said Heger. The red-green-yellow coalition in the federal government made many decisions in favor of renewable energies and recognized that there were problems with the approval processes. In his opinion, the political will to speed things up in this area is also evident in the traffic lights in Rhineland-Palatinate. For example, the responsibility for approving the plants has been shifted one level higher from the municipal levels to the structure and approval departments. "That's good," he said.
"What is still missing is that the citizens also want wind turbines," he emphasized. Society must open itself to renewable energies, even if the consequences are then visible on our own doorstep. "The problem is: there isn't a single wind turbine in Germany that citizens' initiatives or associations aren't suing for." For the economy, this involves important investment decisions. "The many lawsuits and the uncertain outcome in court undermine the will to invest in the expansion of wind energy." In his estimation, the attitude towards the expansion of wind energy is also a question of generations. "I don't know anyone under 35 who thinks a windmill is terrible."
He would like prominent faces from politics and business to show up and say: "When I'm at home on the terrace or in the garden, I see three wind turbines and they don't bother me at all because they produce the electricity for my heat pump , my electric car and make sure that we can charge our mobile phones and work on our computers with a fiber optic connection in the house".
The farewell to natural gas and petrol in favor of further electrification of many areas of life must be accompanied by a change in the image of renewable energies. "People have to say to themselves: I know that I use a lot of electricity, and I see that it is produced in this wind turbine or solar park over there - and that's a good thing," said Heger.
The family business in the district of Kaiserslautern, run by the LVU President, mainly produces parts for wind turbines. The increased energy and material costs had driven the group of companies specializing in foundry products into insolvency under their own responsibility last year. Heger was recently confident "that we can successfully dig our way out and get out of bankruptcy".
He described the relationship between the umbrella organization of entrepreneurs and the traffic light government in Mainz as good. "The LVU appreciates that we are listened to and that we have frequent and good exchanges. I hear from other federal states that this is not the case there," he said. When it comes to future topics, the entrepreneurs sometimes wish "that the implementation would be faster and more concrete," said Heger. "We often think that we have more foresight than we find in the people we talk to."
LVU Heger Group