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In September 2010 and June 2011 the German Federal Government introduced a new energy concept which envisioned for the country’s energy supply in 2050 to be independent of nuclear power and which, in order to achieve that goal, proposed the necessary steps for increasing the renewable energies in Germany. According to the energy concept, one of the most important and unavoidable measures must be a massive development of high-voltage lines in Germany within the next few years. § 1 I EnLAG (German law of energy line expansion) lists a total number of 24 of these projects necessary to reach the 2050 goal. However, in June 2011 only 3 out of these 24 high-voltage lines had been established, which makes the sufficient development of the German energy network seem quite improbable. Responding to this problem, the Bundestag introduced two national laws in 2011 to secure the turnaround in energy policy (Energiewende): the EnWG (German Energy Act) and the NABEG (German law for accelerating the energy network development). With these two laws, the approval procedure for high-voltage lines has changed substantially. They not only implement a new order of the planning process but also emphasize much more than any of the previous regulations of network development the importance of public participation in the planning process. The aim is to strengthen the acceptance of the corresponding planning decision in the public opinion in order to prevent the development of the high-voltage energy network, that is so crucial for the success of the whole turnaround in energy policy (Energiewende), from failing as badly as the “Stuttgart 21” project. Thus, the key question is whether or not the EnWG and the NABEG can tackle this challenge successfully.
Accordingly, the aim of this study is to analyze public participation in decision-making processes as an instrument to increase acceptance of large-scale land use projects in the public opinion. First, it has to be defined and explained what is meant by the term „acceptance“. Also, the question is if it even is or should be the aim of administrative procedures to reach acceptance in the public opinion for large-scale land use projects. As a next step, a common approach for reaching acceptance for large-scale projects in the public opinion by means of public participation in the land use planning procedure can be developed. Finally, based on the results of the above, an analysis of the means of public participation in the approval procedures for high-voltage lines according to the EnWG and NABEG can be made.
keywordsAkzeptanz Bedarfsplanung Beteiligung Energieleitungsausbau EnWG Frühe Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung Großvorhaben Höchstspannungsleitungen NABEG Netzausbau Öffentlichkeitsbeteiligung Planfeststellung Planung Stuttgart 21 Übertragungsleitungen
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