German wind protests continue

GERMANY: As the German government comes close to completing its draft for a new Renewable Energy Act, intended to be implemented as soon as August, demonstrations in support of wind and renewables continue.

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Around 30,000 people took to the streets in seven major German cities to show their support for renewable energies and opposition against coal, nuclear and gas fracking on 22 March, reported environment and nature protection organisation Bund on the same day.

Speeches were made calling for faster expansion of wind and solar capacity in Germany, criticising the federal government's plans to cap support for wind and solar.

Ironically, as German energy companies apply to close conventional plants on economic grounds, Germany's considerable overcapacity could shrink to create a more encouraging climate for renewables — unless the government condones a strategy of having conventional plants redefined as electricity system reserve and receiving support to stay online.

Last week, several manufacturers, including Senvion (formerly Repower), Siemens and Vestas, protested as part of an action organised by wind energy association BWE.

Additionally, Enercon has announced it is putting investments of around EUR 110 million on hold this year in protest at the government's plans.

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