Wind farm licensing cases, Hungary

In December 2016, the Hungarian parliament passed a law that bans wind turbines within a 12-kilometer radius of populated areas. There were a number of conflicts regarding wind farms in Hungary.


Description

In 2016, the Hungarian parliament passed a law on December 12 that bans wind turbines within a 12-kilometer radius of populated areas. The legislation will leave no area in Hungary where it will be possible to install new wind energy capacity. Already by 2013, after a fitful start, Hungary was not expected to add any new wind capacity, as the country remained stuck at the 329MW mark of wind energy where it found itself since the end of 2011. There were a number of conflicts regarding wind farms in Hungary. One in the High Bakony (north of the Balaton lake) in a Nature 2000 area is reported below in "Sources and Materials under "Other Comments".  Another  case south east of Lake Balaton is reported here. A Hungarian company submitted Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) documentation to the environmental inspectorate in order to build a windfarm (11 windmills) in Tolna County in territory of Fürged and Magyarkeszi towns. Local environmental NGO intended to participate in the permitting procedure and submitted its notification to the authority under the Hungarian Environmental Law and the Aarhus Convention. The environmental inspectorate granted standing the NGO in the EIA procedure. The NGO client appealed the first level administrative decision and the second level environmental authority ordered the repetition of the first instance licensing procedure (screening procedure under EIA regulation). The NGO submitted its notification the environmental inspectorate secondly and appealed the first level decision again. The second instance environmental authority annulled the first level decision again and ordered the repetition of the EIA screening procedure second time. The NGO did not notice its participation in the (second) repeated procedure for the third time additionally and finally the first level administrative authority did not send its decision the NGO directly. It made the decision public by announcement. Due to this procedural legal solution the NGO missed the term of appeal formally and its appeal was rejected by the first and second instance administrative bodies. The NGO went to Court in order to reconsider the administrative decisions. The Court annulled the decisions of the first and second level environmental inspectorates and ordered the examination of the NGO's appeal on the merits. The Court granted standing to the NGO and pronounced that it is unnecessary to submit notification towards the environmental authority in the repeated procedure again and that the rejection of the NGO's appeal was unlawful based on the procedural legal instruments.

Basic Data
NameWind farm licensing cases, Hungary
CountryHungary
ProvinceTolna and others
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biodiversity conservation conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Windmills
Specific CommoditiesLand
Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project Details1) North of Lake Balaton (exact description missing)

2) German investors were to launch a major wind power investment in central Hungary’s Tamási, south east of Lake Balaton. (Budapest Business Journal, 5 Febr. 2008). The largest wind farm in Hungary will be implemented near Tamási in Tolna County by Cuxhaven-based Plambeck Neue Energien AG and Dresden-based GM Umwelt- und Energiewirtchaft GmbH. The Hungarian affiliate of Plambeck will invest €50 million to build 14 turbines, on 105-meter-high Vestas-type wind towers with a capacity of 2 megawatts each. The farm will be implemented on an area of 700 hectares north of Tamási and the electricity will be sold to local suppliers. Until 2011, the two German firms want to build 9 wind farms in Hungary with a total investment of €365 million and a nominal capacity of 260 megawatts, said Hans E. Gollan-Möller, managing director of the company to local paper, Tolnai Népújság.
Level of Investment (in USD)50,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date01/09/2009
End Date30/04/2015
Environmental justice organisations and other supporters-Environmental Management and Law Association (www.emla.hu)

-Magas-Bakony Környezetvédelmi Egyesület (High Bakony Enviro

nmental Association)

- Csalán Környezet- és Természetvédő Egyesület (Csalán Environmental and Nature Conservation Association)

-Magyar Szélenergia Társaság (Hungarian Wind Energy Society)

-WWF Magyarország (WWF Hungary)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of MobilizationLawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.This case is a victory of public participation rights.
Sources and Materials
Links

Website of the local NGO
[click to view]

Case study Justice & Environment, Natura 2000, Wind Farm of

Hárskút (this refers to another case in Hungary).
[click to view]

Budapest Business Journal, 5 Febr. 2008
[click to view]

EPAW, European Platform Against Windfarms
[click to view]

Other Documents

Landscape of Magasbakony
[click to view]

Landscape of Magasbakony
[click to view]

Other CommentsHigh-Bakony Environmental Association (to EPAW), May 27th, 2009

Dear Sirs,

We are pleased to have found that EPAW has undertaken the task of requesting a moratorium on industrial-scale windfarms, which represent a threat to the landscape, nature and the inhabitants of nearby dwellings.

We are sorry to inform you we had to learn about these risks, along with the incompetency of the involved authorities the hard way. Over the highlands of the Bakony hills in western Hungary a 30-tower windfarm was planned in the very vicinity of Nature2000 areas,

www.magasbakony.hu/szeleromu/natura2000+30torony.jpg

regions of landscape protection, the national ecological network and also the villages we live in. Albeit the environmental impact assessment was full of fraud (e.g, view plan, noise calculations, etc) the authorities issued the environmental permit. Fortunately we won in court and the investors have since declared their having abandoned the project. The case of this windfarm was published as a report of Justice and Environment

www.justiceandenvironment.org

conducted on how the authorities in the newly joined ten protect (or rather: neglect) the priorities see

www.magasbakony.hu/szeleromu/JE2006Naturacasestudy.pdf.

Thus, we fully support the endeavours disclosed on the EPAW website and please consider us having signed the petition for the moratorium.

We kindly ask you to include us on your mailing list. Thank you.

Respectfully yours,

Mr Ferenc Mészáros

Vice president

High-Bakony Environmental Association

www.magasbakony.hu
Meta Information
ContributorEnvironmental Management and Law Association (www.emla.hu)
Last update23/10/2017
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