German wind power boom continues

New record increase in capacity achieved in 2000 as output reaches 2.5% of national power consumption

Installed capacity of wind turbines in Germany grew faster than ever before last year, further cementing the country's global leadership, national wind industry association BWE has reported. The strong growth vindicates the national policy of supporting renewable energy through fixed producer prices rather than more market oriented instruments, the group maintains.

According to BWE, 1,668 megawatts (MW) of new wind capacity were installed in 2000, taking total capacity to 6,113 MW from 9,375 turbines. The industry produced around 11.5bn kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, meeting 2.5% of national needs. BWE calculates that this saved 7m tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in 2000. It predicts that with further constant growth in the sector, 20m tonnes of emissions could be avoided by 2005, one-quarter of the national target.

BWE chairman Peter Ahmels said: "This new record year shows how important it was for [Germany] to agree the new renewable energy law". He continued: "The ECJ advocate general made it clear last October that a minimum price regulation like Germany's feed-in law did not represent state aid" (ENDS Daily 27 October 2000). "If the court follows this opinion, other European countries can follow the German model without any reservations".

Follow Up:
BWE, tel: +49 541 350 600 and press release; German environment ministry, tel: +49 30 285500 and press release.

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