Danish wind planning proposal alarms industry

Transfer of power from local to regional authorities could stall onshore industry

Denmark's target to produce 30% of its total energy and 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 could be threatened by a government plan to transfer planning responsibility for onshore wind turbines from municipal to regional authorities, according to wind energy firms and environmentalists. Energy and environment minister Svend Auken recently declared his intent to overhaul the planning system on the grounds that it "lacked central coordination" and led to "haphazard decisions" which were causing public controversy. He also envisaged setting framework guidelines for turbine specifications such as height, colour and spacing. Wind firms fear that the changes could lead to a temporary halt in new developments and even a long-term slow down if regional authorities decide to re-draft existing municipal plans for wind farms or to apply new guidelines on specifications too strictly. The head of the Danish Wind Manufacturers Association, Søren Krohn met with government officials yesterday to discuss the announcement. He told ENDS Daily afterwards that he was "hopeful" that the industry's concerns would be taken on board. Mr Auken is due to meet with the parliament's committees for energy and planning later this month to discuss his plans formally.

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