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17 November 2010

German utilities lobby for offshore wind

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The operators of Germany's first offshore wind farm on Tuesday urged the German government to increase incentives to expand the generation of renewable power at sea

Utilities Eon, EWE and Vattenfall in a statement called on Berlin to improve the financial and regulatory framework so that more offshore wind farms can be launched in Germany.

Nearly 30 wind farms have been approved in the North and Baltic seas but just a small number is actually about to be built.

"In the risky field of offshore construction, everything depends on planning security," the companies, which have built the 60 megawatt test farm Alpha Ventus, said in a statement. 

The slow expansion of offshore wind power indicates that there is insufficient 

confidence in the level of economic feasibility of the projects, they added.

Erected 28 miles off the North Sea coast, the Alpha Ventus farm consists of 12 wind turbines -- each nearly as high as the Washington Monument -- that generate enough power for nearly 50,000 households.

The offshore test field since its official launch in April fed some 170 gigawatt hours of power to the national grid, the companies involved said.


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