The optimum number of wind turbines per hectare

December 20, 2023

Wind energy is becoming increasingly important in the mix of renewable energies. The question "How many wind turbines per hectare?" is of great relevance for farmers, energy suppliers and regions. In this detailed blog post, we look at the various aspects that play a role in answering this question.

Land consumption and planning

Land consumption is a key criterion when planning wind farms. According to the Fachagentur Windenergie an Land (FA Wind), an average area of 0.47 hectares must be kept free of tree cover over the entire operating period. However, this varies greatly depending on the type of turbine and location. On average, the value is between 0.04 and 1.28 hectares per wind energy converter (WEC).

Regional differences in Germany

In Germany, the distribution of wind turbines on forest areas varies greatly from region to region. While there is often an exclusion in the north due to state spatial planning, more turbines can be found in the south and west. Rhineland-Palatinate has the most turbines, ahead of Hesse and Baden-Württemberg.

Political framework conditions and targets

The German government is aiming to reserve two percent of Germany's land area for wind energy use. The aim is to double the share of renewable energies in electricity generation to 80 percent by 2030. This will result in a demand for more than 100 gigawatts of power from wind turbines.

Impact on forestry

Many wind turbines are located in forests, which leads to a new dynamic in forestry. It should be noted that wind energy can serve as an additional source of income for forestry operations and can help with the conversion to climate-resistant mixed forests.

Wind power versus biomass and solar energy

Compared to biomass and solar energy, wind power delivers a significantly higher energy yield per hectare. A wind turbine can generate enough electricity for around 6,000 households on one hectare, while biomass from maize is only sufficient for around 7 households on the same area.

Acceptance and nature conservation

Public acceptance of wind turbines and compliance with nature conservation requirements are essential for the expansion of wind energy. Conflicts with bird sanctuaries or landscape aesthetics must be handled sensitively.

Technological developments

New technologies enable the construction of wind turbines with lower land consumption and higher efficiency. Low-wind turbines and further developments in the field of turbine technology are helping to optimize the number of wind turbines required per hectare.