Border towns fighting windmills in Germany, Belgium

Municipalities along the German and Belgian borders are strongly opposing the neighboring countries building windmills in border areas, reports AD. They are seeking intervention from higher authorities, also on the European level.

With the increasing popularity of wind energy, more countries resort to locating windmills on borders with their neighbors to effectively reduce the number of complaints from their own constituents.

The municipalities of Groesbeek, Gelderland and Gennep, Limburg are now struggling to oppose the construction of windmills in the border town of Kranenburg, Germany about 400 meters from the border. Municipalities are afraid that the new windmills will chase away tourists from routes popular with hikers and cyclists.

“We have litigated [against building of windmills], but in Germany and Belgium we have no leg to stand on,” says Anya Niewierra, director of the South Limburg Tourist Board. “Limburg is now surrounded by windmills and plans for them.”

European Parliament MP Jeroen Lenaers (CDA) is planning to seek a solution on the European level. “Decision making in neighboring municipalities should be regulated by law in such cases,” Lenaers is quoted saying.

Niewierra also calls for a ban on windmill building within a ten-mile radius from the border. “I do not understand why there is so much pressure on building sea turbines, but everyone is deaf to our problems,” she said. “If this does not stop, we are in a trouble. Tourism is the engine of our economy.”