Schröder was speaking at a Wind Energy Day, organised by Tacke Windtechnik at its Salzbergen premises on September 7. Mixing politics with public relations, Tacke had invited Schröder to express his views on the future of German wind energy and organised a viewing of its new TW 300 kW turbine and the company premises at the same time. The proposal for national planning guidelines was mooted by the founder of Tacke Windtechnik, Franz Tacke. He suggested founding a working group under the auspices of the Lower Saxony Energy Agency -- an initiative which Schröder promised to support. The working group would also look again at ways of giving wind turbines special privilege in planning law. An attempt to do so this summer was quashed by opponents.
Schröder, a member of the Social Democrat party, currently in opposition in Bonn, estimated that it will take 30 years before his party's goal of a nuclear-free Germany is reached. The challenge for wind, he said, was how to make it work together with fossil fuel plant. On grid connection costs for wind turbines, Schröder suggested that the regional authorities use their powers as major shareholders in Lower Saxony utilities to get a better deal for wind developers. And he also promised to fight for increased public funding for wind and solar research and development. "Compared with what is spent on nuclear power, the amount that goes to wind is no more than a tip," he said.