A year-round harvest: income from wind energy
Whether farmland, pasture or forest – your property could play an important part in the energy revolution. Leasing areas for wind energy is rewarding, low-risk and, in principle, possible to do throughout Germany.
More and more landowners are benefiting from the energy revolution. By leasing their farmland and pasture they are creating an additional source of income for themselves and their families. Since wind generators take up relatively little space the surrounding fields can continue to be cultivated as pasture, for fruit farming, as forest area or used for keeping horses.
The future prospects for “wind millers” are positive. Wind generators form the backbone of the German energy revolution. Even today, they deliver around half of the renewable energy – and the trend is on the up. The proportion of renewable energies in the energy mix is set to rise from 30 per cent today to 45 per cent by as early as 2025. By 2050 this is even due to rise to 80 per cent. Other wind generator sites are needed to achieve this.
There are sites all over Germany that are well suited to harvesting the power of the wind. Many of these are found in central and southern Germany – for instance in commercial forests. A few years ago commercial wind power generation would hardly have been possible here. The wind sector has, however, made a major technical leap in performance when it comes to “wind in the forest”: special turbines have been developed for sites with uneven terrain, such as low mountain ranges or forested areas. The tower heights used today allow a wind yield over the treetops in an air layer characterised by high wind velocities.
“I feel that I am in good hands with UKA, thanks to the superb personal support offered. The project and construction processes were explained to me in detail. If I have any questions there is always someone available to answer them.”
landowner in Göllnitz
Dismantling the wind generators – no risk for landowners
Contrary to the large-scale changes to the landscape that lignite mining entails, the impact of wind generators is reversible. They are constructed, generate clean energy for two decades, are subsequently fully dismantled within a few days, including the foundations, and, ultimately, are replaced by grassland or a field that can be farmed. Landowners who work with UKA bear no risks in terms of liability or dismantling.
How does leasing my farmland work in practice?
- How much will I be paid for leasing my farmland?
During the period the wind turbine is in operation you will receive an ongoing usage fee, which is similar to a lease. This will vary according to the wind yield.
Furthermore, you will receive one-off payments for certain negative impacts on your property, such as path construction, cable bushing and construction vehicle parking.
- Am I leasing or selling my farmland?
When it comes to wind energy projects the land is usually not sold. Instead, the rights of use required for installing and operating the wind turbines are secured for the long term. The advantage for landowners and farmers: as well as being used to exploit the energy of the wind, the land can continue to be farmed at the same time.
- What happens when wind generators are built on my property?
The wind turbines require a solid concrete foundation as well as access. During construction it is necessary to have platforms for the crane and the construction equipment. While the technology is being erected temporary access routes are often required too; these are then fully removed once the build is successfully completed. Should the development take place during a particular infructescence phase, you or your tenant (as applicable) will be compensated for the crop loss incurred for the patch of land affected. Drainage systems (land improvement) located on your land will remain intact. You can find further information on the construction process here.
- Do I bear any dismantling risks after the wind generators are decommissioned?
Landowners who work with UKA bear no risks in terms of liability or dismantling. In addition to an exemption from liability the lessor receives a dismantling guarantee for the wind turbine, its foundations and the accompanying infrastructure.
- A wide range of property types are suitable for generating wind energy – all over Germany
- Leasing is low-risk for landowners – no liability or dismantling risk
- Wind power as an additional source of income: the land can still be farmed while the rotors are turning