The state of Lower Austria wants to triple its wind capacity by 2035. Currently, about 770 wind turbines across the country produce 4,300 GWh, and by 2035 it should reach 12,000 GWh. These are the targets that the state government has recently set for itself.
However, more critical tones were heard from the Freedom Party of Austria. New wind turbines should only be built with the approval of local residents, especially since they are inefficient and destroy the landscape – more about this The FPÖ wants to hold a “referendum” on wind turbines (noe.ORF.at; 26 September 2023). In principle, the FPÖ committed to “the massive expansion of renewable energies, especially photovoltaics, wind energy and biomass” in its working agreement with the FPÖ.
But it is important that the population is included, a spokesman for noe.ORF.at stressed. Modernizing existing systems is more important than building new ones, and a broad mix of renewable energies and openness to technology is needed.
In the office of the responsible Deputy State Governor, Stefan Pernkopf (ÖVP), the current expansion steps are indicated. The current wind zoning is currently being reviewed by experts in order to identify locations for an additional 250 wind turbines. The result is expected this year. As a first step, existing areas should be brought closer and expanded. Existing wind turbines are scheduled to be retrofitted to increase performance and efficiency. Procedures are also accelerated when existing systems are updated.
Expansion is going too slowly for the SPÖ, the Green Party and NEOS
All this is happening too slowly for the SPÖ, the Green Party and NEOS. The SPÖ party appeals to the country not to rest on its laurels. The goal of tripling wind capacity by 2035 is a very long-term goal and must be achieved by 2030. Most importantly, increasing the efficiency of existing systems will play a major role.
The Green Party calls for the wind energy potential of Lower Austria to be used optimally for all. New areas for wind energy must be identified quickly, transparently and comprehensively, because the existing areas will not be sufficient to address the energy crisis. More wind turbines are needed and fast, according to the Green Party.
NEOS is also calling for more wind turbines: 100 new wind turbines will be built annually by 2030. Approval procedures must be accelerated and residents must be involved in transparent planning.
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