Bern – On June 6, the National Council approved the revised bill for the Federal Law on the Acceleration of Approval Procedures for Wind Turbines by 136 votes to 53. A total of 39 turbines, which are currently awaiting approval, are to benefit from this.
The National Council endorsed the amendments of the Council of States and followed it with regard to the bill on the accelerated approval of wind power plants by 136 votes to 53. Originally, this bill came from the Committee for Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy of the National Council. The background to this is the goal of making Switzerland less dependent on electricity imports during the period when the sun is not shining.
That’s why an addition is necessary, according to Energy Minister Albert Rösti (SVP) in a parliamentary media release. But, he said, this must be realized “without strong carving of the usual co-determination rights.” According to the information, there was fundamental opposition to the wind power offensive in parliament only on the part of the SVP. He said the other groups agree that wind energy makes a valuable contribution to the power supply during the winter months.
Therefore, according to the tenor, it cannot be that projects have to wait more than 20 years for their approval. The bill stipulates that the accelerated procedures may only be used if the municipalities have already approved the facility as part of the land use planning. According to Rösti, this applies to 39 turbines that are expected to supply 250 gigawatt hours of electricity annually. These include the Grenchenberg wind farm in the canton of Solothurn, the Eoljorat Sud and Sur Grati projects in the canton of Vaud, and the Crêt Neuron project in the canton of Neuchâtel.
The expedited procedures would apply to wind energy projects of national interest until an additional 600 megawatts of capacity is installed. For these projects, the canton should now be responsible for the building permit. In addition, the legal remedies against this decision will be limited: it will only be possible to appeal it to the highest cantonal court. ce/mm