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Germany

Germany

SCEPTICISM AT RWE OFFER OF PLANNING HELP

In view of the campaign by German utilities to have the Electricity Feed Law (EFL) ditched, an offer by Germany's largest utility, RWE Energie, to carry out wind planning for local communities within its electricity supply area is being greeted with due scepticism. In a circular to district councils, RWE Energie points out how interest in wind energy has grown, partly due to the EFL. It then describes the trend towards inland wind installations, drawing attention to negative visual impact on the landscape and wind's dwindling popularity as a result. But here, RWE says, it will come to the rescue. By autumn 1996 the utility will have a detailed wind map for the whole of its demarcated electricity supply area. "At the request of the district councils we will make available the planning groundwork for the identification of suitable areas for wind projects," says the utility. This development is most unusual. Such wind maps have in the past been drawn up by independent bodies such as the German wind institute, DEWI, of Wilhelmshaven, or WindConsult of Rostock. Unlike RWE Energie, these organisations do not supply electricity either directly or indirectly to the communities which later use the wind studies.

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