The July 24, 2016 print edition of national flagship daily Die Welt wrote a feature story on how German citizens are becoming fed up with the widespread crony capitalism of the wind energy business and are thus now mobilizing a fierce rebellion. The German daily writes of health issues for people living in their vicinity.
The article starts by featuring technology fan Volker Tschischke, who was once an ardent proponent of renewable energy – until wind turbines were built close to his residence and encircled his home village of Etteln. Now he leads a citizens initiative against the construction of wind parkc. The turbines “have driven him to resistance“, Die Welt writes.
Local politicians are no longer serving the interests of the local people, but rather “are rolling out the red carpet for wind power companies” and appear to be “no longer listening to the people and about the concerns of their everyday lives,” the national German daily writes.
A “destructive force”
Die Welt describes an Energiewende (transition to renewable energies) that is “dividing the people“, where those who live in big cities and thus not effected by the blight are open to wind parks, while those living in the countryside are fed up and fiercely resisting them. Die Welt reports that people across rural Germany “no longer view the Energiewende as a necessary national project, but as a destructive force.”
Now, ever so gradually, it even appears that Berlin is getting the message as leading parties see their poll numbers dropping. Die Welt writes that Berlin is now throttling the expansion of wind parks and working to “deescalate the conflict“.
“Ruined and destroyed for generations”
As an example of blight and destruction, Die Welt cites the area surrounding the central city of Paderborn, quoting a local resident who is thinking about packing up and leaving: “Here the living area is being ruined and destroyed for generations.”
Even though Berlin is scrambling to put the brakes on the uncontrolled spread of wind turbine littering across the rural landscape, local residents often remain powerless against the mighty wind industrialists and projects that have already been proposed. And even when local political leaders side up with their residents against the parks, Die Welt describes a David versus Goliath fight:
On one side there’s the mayor of the town and some of his staff, and on the other side there are corporation-like companies that hire staffs of lawyers.”
In such cases the big wind companies have an easy time pile-driving their projects through, Die Welt writes.
Opponents resort to sabotage
Also wind park developers often promise towns and villages cash-flow from wind projects, But as Die Welt reports, most never end up seeing any money. “The promise of business tax revenue is a ‘large fairy tale’.”
Die Welt also adds that wind park opponents are often labeled “grumblers“, “troublemakers” or “Energiewende blockers who use ludicrous ways to try to stop the success of the Energiewende.”
The conflict has even escalated to the point where opponents have even sabotaged a wind measurement instrument used to check the feasibility of a possible future project. Farmers are even blocking deforestation equipment with their tractors, Die Welt reports.
Lawless, Wild West conditions
In other locations it seems that wind energy development resembles the Wild West where there is a complete lack of law and order. Town have corrupted the planning, permitting and building process. Die Welt writes sometimes sleazy towns act as planner, permitting authority, builder and operator all in one. Nothing stands in the way. There are no checks and balances. Only a few profiteers. The German daily writes:
The county of Aurich is a stakeholder in wind park projects. For the investor that is totally practical. He is thus practically the funder, impact study conductor and project approver all in one.”
Whether its solar power or wind energy, there’s a common thread: A very select few are profiting hugely while the rest of society are left to clean up a huge industrial, financial and environmental mess.