Economy slows Germany's offshore wind plans

February 3, 2009


BERLIN: Germany’s financial crisis has forced several offshore wind parks in the North Sea to be put on hold, government officials said.

Some people involved in the wind farm project said they fear could worsen because of the lousy financial markets, Der Spiegel reported Friday.

The German Environment Ministry sponsored an “Offshore Summit” Thursday to address the financial difficulties facing smaller energy companies, resulting in an agreement that the offshore industry would be considered in the second stimulus package the German government developed with to address the economic crisis.

“We are sliding towards a dangerous crisis in offshore wind power,” says Fritz Vahrenholt, director of RWE subsidiary Innogy, which operates wind farms along the British coast.

Some parts for the project — backed by German energy firms E.ON and EWE and the Swedish power company Vattenfall — have been delivered, but are still in the outfitting platform at Wilhelmshaven because of weather-related delays, Der Spiegel said.

In July the government announced plans to build up to 30 offshore wind farms to meet the country’s renewable energy targets. The first six turbines were slated to begin producing carbon dioxide-free electricity in October.

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