Wind energy has been praised as one of the most efficient means of protecting the climate. Wolfhart Dürrschmidt of the federal environment ministry was speaking at September's Husum wind conference. Wind turbines produce the amount of energy needed for their manufacture within six months of operation, he said. After that every kilowatt hour of wind energy saves 0.6 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2), said Dürrschmidt. With about 4000 MW of wind plant operating in Germany by the end of this year wind alone accounts for 1% of overall electricity production and a 0.5% cut in CO2 emissions in Germany. By 2010 wind could account for 5% of electricity generation and for 2% to 3% of CO2 reduction, Dürrschmidt said. In 1998, 883 million tonnes of CO2 were emitted in Germany, 13% less than in 1990. Some 95% of the emissions originated through the use of energy from industrial plant, households or the transport sector. Most of the reduction, compared with 1990, has been due to the collapse of industry in eastern Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
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