Buffeted by the soaring price of oil, a heated debate over a planned nuclear phase-out and pressure to meet its CO2 emission targets, Germany said last week it planned to give a massive boost to wind power in the coming years. Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee said Berlin aims to build up to 30 offshore wind farms in the North Sea and Baltic Sea, at a cost of 1 billion euros each, to reduce dependency on energy suppliers from overseas. The government hopes to obtain 25,000 megawatts of energy from offshore wind farms by 2030, Tiefensee said. Charting unknown waters It’s a tall order considering not a single wind turbine is in place along Germany’s coastline as yet, some experts say. They point out that the minister’s ambitious plans are beset with questions about the technology. “Germany is the world leader in onshore wind technology but it’s still charting unknown waters with its offshore plans,” said Ulf Gerard, spokesman for the German Wind Energy Association. With its estimated 19,500 onshore windmills producing 23,000 megawatts of energy, Germany’s wind energy sector has seen exports boom in recent years as the demand for wind turbines rockets around the world. Last year, the industry… Read full this story
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