Embarks On Massive Wind Power Project
Looks to Seaborne Wind Farms
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
(AP) -- Eager to prove that abandoning nuclear power won't force Germany
to fall back on dirtier energy sources, a senior official on Thursday renewed
government backing for offshore wind farms to fill the gap.
Baake, the deputy environment minister, conceded that environmental concerns
and questions of shipping safety still have to be addressed before the
first such installation is built, probably in 2004.
treading new ground here,'' Baake told a conference on the technology in
Minister Juergen Trittin said last week that up to three-fifths of today's
nuclear power could be replaced by wind energy by 2030. But none of the
offshore plants that would produce that energy have yet been built, and
there also is no agreement on where to build them.
Monday, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and leading energy companies formally
signed an agreement to shut down Germany's 19 nuclear power plants, making
it the largest industrial nation to willingly forgo the technology.
pact limits nuclear plants, which provide nearly a third of Germany's electricity,
to an average 32 years of operation. That would likely see the most modern
plants close around 2021.
opposition Christian Democrats argue that eliminating nuclear energy would
force Germany to use dirtier power sources. That could make it more difficult
to curb emissions as outlined by the landmark 1997 Kyoto agreement on greenhouse
Environment Ministry plans to build about 40 wind generators offshore in
a small-scale pilot project before 2004. Sven Teske, a spokesman for the
environmental group Greenpeace, criticized the government for not moving
power last year accounted for 2 percent of Germany's electricity production,
or 10 billion kilowatt hours.
and Trittin want to see that figure rise to 110 billion kilowatt hours
over the next three decades.