The pressure on species protection in the expansion of wind energy is growing. The wind energy lobby, in cooperation with some environmental groups, has published a 10-point paper calling, among other things, for an acceleration of the authorisation procedures for wind turbines. The aim is also to shorten the protection of species. Currently unapproved wind farms are to be “saved” by the species protection exception in order to speed up the expansion of wind energy and also to make use of areas that have previously been excluded for nature conservation reasons. Nature conservation associations, including NABU and BUND, have also published a paper calling for a targeted design of the species protection exception. Many national associations and other nature conservation associations, on the other hand, criticise the demand that exemptions from species protection should be made on a blanket basis in the case of wind turbines. This is because an exception under Paragraph 45(4) of the European People’s Day. 7 No. 5 of the Federal Nature Conservation Act (BNatSchG) in the approval procedure for wind turbines should only come into play as an instrument for weighing up the reasons for exceptions in a specific case and not as a standard solution for enabling permits to be granted in spite of conflicts in the protection of species. This should actually be reflected in the title “exception”. The Naturschutzinitiative e.V. (a conservation NGO) has therefore had a legal opinion prepared by the renowned lawyer and university lecturer Prof. Dr. Gellermann. It notes that exemptions under species protection law from the prohibition on killing wind power are in breach of German and European nature conservation law. According to the Nature Conservation Initiative e.V., Prof. Dr. Gellermann’s legal opinion makes it clear that the “strictly observable legal limits, which must not be exceeded in a state governed by the rule of law, even if this is demanded by the lobbyists of the wind industry. […] There must be no license to kill.” ( Link to the report)

No license to kill – Legal opinion about exceptions from species protection due to the construction of wind turbines (German conservation law)