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Germany

Germany

The fight goes on

A new German wind lobby group has commissioned Fichtner Development Engineering of Stuttgart to research the cost of wind generation and compare it with that from new, conventional power stations. The wind group believes the government will not conclude its ongoing review of the Electricity Feed Law until Fichtner's work has been completed and evaluated.

Germany's new wind lobby group, Wirtschaftsverband Windkraftwerke, has commissioned Fichtner Development Engineering of Stuttgart to research the cost of wind generation and compare it with that from new, conventional power stations. Fichtner often does work for the federal economy ministry and the wind group believes the government will not conclude its ongoing review of the Electricity Feed Law (EFL) until Fichtner's work has been completed and evaluated.

At the end of last year Germany's ruling coalition, under pressure from the European Commission (Windpower Monthly, November 1996), was apparently close to reducing wind rates under the EFL from 90% to 75% of the average consumer price of electricity. This cut was either to start at the beginning of 1997, or be introduced after a turbine's ten year amortisation period.

The wind industry is fighting any tariff reduction, arguing that the majority of turbines in operation are still less than five years old and the price of a kilowatt hour over the life of a wind plant is still unknown. Enercon's Aloys Wobben has protested to German wind energy magazine Wind Energie Aktuell that a reduction to 75% would be viewed by his company as moral permission to transfer manufacturing from Germany to Brazil and India where it already has production facilities. Tacke Windtechnik adds that blades it already makes in Canada and ships to Germany are no more expensive. With unemployment running at over 10.5% in Germany, such threats might have the desired effect on the federal government.

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