German Greens Move To Water Down Nature Protection Laws – To Clear Way For Wind Parks!

The German online Nordwest Zeitung (NWZ) reports here how mainly German Socialists and Greens (of all people) are moving to relax strict laws designed to protect nature and endangered species.

The aim is to clear the way for the industrialization of the North German rural countryside and natural areas with wind turbines.

Pushed by Germany’s Greens and Socialists, the country’s nature protection act to be watered down to make the industrialization of natural areas far easier. Image cropped from here.

Journalist Marco Seng reports that under the existing law a planned wind park near the town of Zetel, for example, will have to remain shut down for 6 months every year in order to protect the area birdlife. However, denying wind park construction and operation in order to protect nature and wildlife has become just too much to ask of Germany’s socialists and environmentalist greens.

They are now pushing through a watered-down law.

Each year in early spring a number of bird species transit through or nest in north German regions, which wind park developers and operators happen to find ideal wor wind energy generation. That’s a big problem. Under the current federal law wind turbines located in sensitive areas are required to shut down from March 1 to August 30 in order to comply with § 44 of the German Nature Protection Act.

Seng reports how a number of turbines are planned to be erected in different areas this year. For example the county of Friesland gave its approval in early January to rezone the areas by the end of March and allow the construction of turbines. Citizens groups however have protested, claiming that the turbines will not be profitable due to the summer shutdown period. Yet the mayors insist they will still make a profit and the projects will go ahead.

All this is highly controversial as the NWZ writes that recent studies and expert assessments have concluded that “many bird species are threatened, foremost predatory birds because they do not avoid turbines“.

Also the Deutsche Wildtier Stiftung (German Wildlife Foundation) estimated that approximately 250,000 bats and over 12,000 predatory birds fall victim to wind turbines annually, with a high number being killed over northern Germany. Recently some courts found in favor of the red kite hawk, and thus some planned wind parks were denied approvals to be constructed. The reason, NWZ reports, “a high risk of death to birds and adverse feeding conditions for predatory birds.”

So it’s little wonder that wind energy proponents are adamantly pushing for relaxing Germany’s nature protection laws.

At other locations, wind park projects are being given the green light anyway, angering nature-protection activists. The NWZ quotes Monika Oetje-Weber of the Kammersand citizens’ action group:

If all the information and documentation on the presence of important bird species had been taken seriously, then the approvals would have never been issued.”

The municipalities and project proponents, however, insist that the the turbines that are to be erected will pose no threat to bird life.

Watering down the nature protection laws to allow the turbines to run all year.

Because of the intensifying collision course between wind projects and birdlife and nature, and the increasing protests against wind parks in rural areas, the German government is now moving to alter Germany Federal Nature Protection Act to make it easier to build and operate wind parks and highways. The NWZ writes:

You read that correctly. In the future the Federal Nature Protection Act’s § 44 Section 1 No.1 ban against killing will be valid for interventions and projects if the risk of death for especially protected species in unavoidably signficantly high.”

This means the bar will be significantly lowered for wind projects. The reaction from nature activists came swiftly and harshly. The NWZ:

‘The amendment leads to a dramatic threat increase to birdlife and bats by wind turbines, and that is unacceptable,’ says Fritz Vahrenholt, Chairman of the German Wildlife Foundation. The killing of birds is thus no longer a principle reason for obstructing wind turbine parks.”

Other leading traditional environmental protection groups such as NABU are outraged, writes the NWZ:

We see absolutely no necessity for the planned amendment. We demand that lawmakers do not pass the amendment as it currently stands,’ says NABU President Olaf Tschimpke.”

Others accuse the government of having hollowed out the country’s nature protection laws and caving in to industry lobbyists. Others say that approval committees have not been strict enough when it comes to species protection assessments, claiming that the planning of the projects violates the law.

The NWZ concludes that a major collision between nature protection and the wind industry is now more unavoidable than ever. But the trend is clear: in Germany nature and birdlife are losing the battle against the powerful industrial wind lobby and climate protection activists.

Germany risks seeing the worst government-steered environmental disaster since the collapse of Communism late last century.


36 responses to “German Greens Move To Water Down Nature Protection Laws – To Clear Way For Wind Parks!”

  1. Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)

    More and more, it’s easier to explain what Greens are doing by the commercial benefits than any benefit to nature.

    It all seems to be a money making scam. They tout for money from donors and then depending who is the highest bidder – they manufacture a campaign to suit that donor and then the gullible students who see these campaigns as a glorified day trip and social event are bus-ed to another demo (apparently many being clueless as to what they are actually demonstrating about if Youtube videos interviewing them are typical).

    1. Mikky

      There is also religious zeal, greens think that the rest of the world is either going green or is just about to, hence poor Canada is going greener (and therefore more expensive for business) just as Trump’s USA is going ultra-competitive:

    2. David Appell

      What’s wrong with making money?

      1. ClimateOtter

        apple: so you also don’t mind ripping out wildlife habitat for a couple of useless turbines which chop birds and explode bat lungs? So noted.

      2. AndyG55

        I guess it depend how much of NATURE you WANT to destroy

        Thanks for showing that you HATE nature and life..

        But we already know you hate life.

        Not surprising though, with your empty soul, it must be truly putrid and ultimately depressing being you.

      3. yonason

        Nothing wrong with making money, as long as you do it honestly.

  2. ClimateOtter

    Tell us how this is a good thing, sod.

    1. David Johnson

      I’m sure the sad man will try!

    2. ClimateOtter

      Well sod, you are either late to the game or avoiding this one, with the intent of leaping back in the moment someone mentions high energy prices for the poor and elderly in Germany.

  3. Mikky

    Do you have any solar panels on lakes yet in Germany? The BBC was in raptures recently about how they are being put there in the UK, to help preserve the … environment.

  4. sod

    “Germany risks seeing the greatest crony-capitalism, government steered disaster since the collapse on Communism late last century.”


    Renewables are now producing 1/3 of German electricity. A short while ago, people would have thought this was impossible.

    Wind and solar are now cheaper than any other NEW source of electricity.

    electric cars will be moving in soon, then we will start cutting down petrol as well.

    Solar and home batteries will make our grids stronger and saver.

    Anyone who wants to see a real economic and ecological disaster should look at coal power:

    Huge regions would completely flood if we did stop the pumps.

    and we have to pump till eternity :

    1. DirkH

      “Huge regions would completely flood if we did stop the pumps.
      and we have to pump till eternity :”

      Well sod we also have to maintain dikes at the North Sea “til eternity”. What do you suggest, just let the North Sea flood that area? As you are suddenly so cost-sensitive?

      So they say it costs 220 mill a year to keep the Ruhr area dry. Hmm that reminds me. All our cities have drains for rainwater. That must cost A FORTUNE. Why oh why do we keep maintaining drainage system FOR ETERNITY? Must cost BILLIONS. It would be MUCH cheaper to abandon the cities!

    2. AndyG55

      Your TOTAL AVOIDANCE of the main issue is noted, sop.

      COWARD !!

    3. ClimateOtter

      So from your lack of response, sod, is it safe to figure you don’t give a flying ***K about the environment and wildlife?

      1. AndyG55

        I have yet to meet one single AGW proponent that does.

        It is IMPOSSIBLE to be PRO-Environment/Nature while at the same time being PRO-wind turdines and ANTI-CO2.

        There is a unanimous HATRED of nature, progress and human-kind.

      2. David Appell

        Wind turbines *SAVE* birds’ lives:

        “Within the uncertainties of the data used, the estimate means that wind farms killed approximately 20,000 birds in the United States in 2009 but nuclear plants killed about 330,000 and fossil fueled power plants more than 14 million. The paper concludes that further study is needed, but also that fossil fueled power stations appear to pose a much greater threat to birds and avian wildlife than wind farms and nuclear power plants.”
        – “The avian benefits of wind energy: A 2009 update,” Benjamin K. Sovacool, Renewable Energy, Volume 49, January 2013, Pages 19–24.

        1. ClimateOtter


          I think this renewable energy shills’ numbers are off by several orders of magnitude. Nor would I trust his numbers for other types of energy.

          1. yonason
        2. AndyG55

          “and fossil fueled power plants more than 14 million”

          Same old appell BULLCRAP..

          You know you cannot provide even one picture as proof that fossil fuelled power plants kill birds or ANYTHING for that matter.

          waiting, waiting

          or are you just going to RUN and HIDE again…

    4. John

      “Renewables are now producing 1/3 of German electricity. A short while ago, people would have thought this was impossible.”

      It still is.
      Or is the wind blowing 24/7 with 7 bft and the sun shining 24/7 over germany?

      “Solar and home batteries will make our grids stronger and saver.”

      When? In ten thousand years from now?

  5. Graeme No.3

    sod demens est!

  6. Rud Istvan

    SOD, your assertion that wind and solar are cheaper than any other new source of electricity simply is not true. If it were, subsidies for them would no longer be needed. To show you how wrong, guest post True Cost of Wind at Climate Etc. corrects the gross errors in the EIA LCOE anaylsis from 2014-2015 using a carefully irrefutable step by step explanation. End result: CCGT~$55/MWh. Wind at ~10% penetration on the ERCOT grid (including real additional transmission and intermitency backup) ~$145/MWh. NOT Wind LCOE about same as CCGT as EIA ‘officially’ claimed. Real numbers. Wake up. Or at least stop repeating easily disproven falsehoods such as those from EIA under Obama. Why Trump has to drain the swamp starting noon Friday.
    BTW, I am providing that guest post analysis directly to Rick Perry as soon as he is confirmed for DoE, so he can drain his EIA corner of the swamp. Many NTZ readers may be interested in it. Feel free to copy and pass on.

  7. yonason

    Some details on how to install a turbine.

    Just to give some sense of how big that dump truck is

    Some of his other articles are on odd topics, but they all look well researched. This one seems the best compilation of relevant information on the topic I have seen yet.

  8. David Appell

    Speaking of wind, look at its consequences:

    Number of human deaths per unit of energy:

    1. tom0mason

      Speaking of scams, look at its consequences:

      Poor people, including children getting sick with too many needlessly dying. Why because foolish politician believing the egotistical advocates.

      Thankfully the public are just beginning to see through the scam. They are beginning to realize that in 600 million years this planet has never experienced out of control run-away global warming. Never! Even when CO2 level were over 1000ppm still no global warming. Even when CO2 was at 7000 ppm no warming, no an ice-age.

      Its about time these advocate shut the f***-up and leave the stage as the engineers have a massive job to do clearing up the crap these advocates have left.

      It’s not science, never has been, its just politics, profiteering on peoples’ fear.

  9. David Appell

    And speaking of bird deaths:

    “Avian Mortality by Energy Source,” US News, 8/22/14

    “Within the uncertainties of the data used, the estimate means that wind farms killed approximately 20,000 birds in the United States in 2009 but nuclear plants killed about 330,000 and fossil fueled power plants more than 14 million. The paper concludes that further study is needed, but also that fossil fueled power stations appear to pose a much greater threat to birds and avian wildlife than wind farms and nuclear power plants.”
    — “The avian benefits of wind energy: A 2009 update,” Benjamin K. Sovacool, Renewable Energy, Volume 49, January 2013, Pages 19–24.

    1. Kenneth Richard

      Oh look, David is dumping the Sovacool 2013 paper again (just like he did a month ago before scurrying away), which uses the same model that Thomas et al. (2004) used to claim that 1 million species will become extinct within 33 years due to “climate change” — even though IUCN has concluded only 1 single species, a mollusc, has gone extinct since 2000. David is a believer that, any day now, we’ll jump from 1 species extinction in 15 years to 300,000 species extinctions per decade over the next 3.3 decades (2050). That’s what the models he believes in say will possibly maybe could might potentially happen.

      Now, do 14.1 million birds actually get killed annually by coal plants, as David Appell appeals to us to believe (using Sovacool, 2013) and its uncritical press release from the USA Today? No. That’s what the model says could possibly maybe might happen someday because of “climate change”. David has a problem confusing actual number counts of observed, recorded bird deaths with models of what might maybe possibly could potentially happen someday based upon alarmist claims of many degrees C of warming (which is also based on modeling, not observations). He apparently believes projections of what might possibly maybe could potentially happen in the future because of computer-modeled “climate change” effects are the actual facts.

      Sovacool relied primarily on a paper in Nature (Thomas et al., 2004 [which claims we’ll see a million species go extinct by 2050 due to “climate change”]) that presents hypothetical scenarios for bird extinction depending on a number of future climate change scenarios. Using the maximum hypothesized extinction rate for the worst-case scenario presented in that paper, he derived (without further explanation of how he did so) a rate of 4.98 deaths/GWh attributable to “climate change”. Adding the 0.2 deaths/GWh from the other sources with the 4.98 deaths/GWh attributable to modeled “climate change” effects he concocted a rate of 5.18 fatalities per GWh which he then extrapolated to approximately 14.1 million birds a year that may potentially might could maybe someday be coal plants

      The 14.1 million bird deaths per year is a made-up number based upon worst-case-scenario modeled estimates from the Thomas et al. (2004) paper claiming 1 million extinctions by 2050 due to “climate change” that even the IPCC has backed away from as of AR4 (because it’s bunk). Even the 0.2 deaths/GWh ascribed to coal plants due to “non-climate change” effects is a concocted figure, as (a) it ignores the fact that coal is significantly extracted from underground sources (where birds don’t fly or live), and (b) Sovacool used one single above-ground US coal plant in Illinois to extrapolate deaths from collisions for all the coal power plants in the US (which, again, are often underground).

      Finally, Sovacool estimates that wind turbines kill only 20,000 birds in the US per year. According to Smallwood (2013), it’s 573,000 for wind turbines per year(as of 2012), and about 80,000 per year for solar power utilities (Walston et al., 2016). By the way, wind turbines are now the leading cause of multiple mortality events in bats (O’Shea et al., 2016), and US turbines kill about a million a year, and about 4 million worldwide. Where Sovacool concocted his 20,000 birds killed by wind turbines per year figure is anyone’s guess. It was likely made up too.

      In other words, this is junkscience. And it’s what David Appell dumps on us here again and again and again…and we debunk it again and again and again…and yet, a month from now, he’ll take a shot at another dump. Apparently he believes that peddling junkscience is helping his case.

      Walston et al., 2016
      “Based on Smallwood (2013) national mortality estimate of 573,093 birds across a total installed wind energy capacity of 51,630 MW in the United States (as of 2012), we estimated a national avian mortality rate of 11.10 birds/MW.

      1. tom0mason

        You see through him just like the rest of us. Same junk different day!

    2. tom0mason

      @David Appell 19. January 2017 at 5:36 AM
      Same cr@p different day!

    3. AndyG55

      “fossil fueled power plants more than 14 million.”

      THIS IS A MONUMENTAL LIE.. and you know it.

      You have proven you CANNOT produce one single picture of a bird killed by a fossil fuelled power plant.

      PUT UP OR SHUT UP, you moronic cretin.

      1. ClimateOtter

        The funny thing is that idiots will claim they have seen flocks of birds flying through power-plant emissions (ie, they are seeing WATER VAPOUR), yet claim that birds ‘will learn’ to avoid wind turbines. this despite the fact that birds have had 3 centuries to learn to avoid smoke-stack emissions and apparently have NOT.

  10. sod

    China is scrapping 100 coal power plants, (about a third of the total capacity in the USA)

    China makes sense, while Trump will lead the USA into total disaster.

    1. AndyG55

      They have found they have enough already.

      And seriously, that article has to be one of the most moronic pieces of propaganda pap even you have ever linked to.. They should change their name to zero-science-alert.

      Stupid unsupportable statements like “one of Earth’s most polluting fossil fuels” when new coal fired power is among the cleanest energy sources ever, releasing very little except H2O and Co2, neither of which is in any way a pollutant.

      Considering wind turbine fires, which produce REAL, UGLY and DANGEROUS chemical pollution, it is VERY PROBABLE that wind turbines produce far more REAL pollution per energy unit, than even some older style of coal powered power station.

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