Environment minister for Lower Saxony, Monika Griefahn, used the opportunity of the third German wind conference in Wilhelmshaven on October 23 to encourage wind turbine manufacturers in their work. She praised the industry for creating some 5000 jobs since the beginning of the decade and for playing a part in the ongoing restructuring of the energy sector away from the use of nuclear power. She also commented on the continuing dispute between wind energy and landscape conservationists, pointing out that in the long term a considerable reduction in wind turbine numbers can be achieved from the current 3000 in coastal locations if investors steadily replace old turbines with new megawatt size plant. The conference was "overrun with visitors," says Jens-Peter Molly, head of the Deutsches Wind-Energie Institut (DEWI) which organised the event. Over 400 participants took part in the largely scientific gathering, well up on the 260 registered at the previous event in 1994. An export forum won top marks from participants who heard about emerging markets from speakers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Morocco. To DEWI guidelines, the speakers presented details on the electricity supply systems, prices, legal and political conditions in their home countries. Twenty-three exhibitors, including banks, universities and manufacturers had stands in the conference foyer
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