Faced with the approach of stiffer market conditions, German wind turbine manufacturers are clearly thinking hard about strategies to ensure their future survival. A relative newcomer to the wind scene, Autoflug, which now markets a 100 kW machine and is developing a 1.2 MW turbine, is holding talks with Jacobs Energie of Heide with a view to official collaboration by the end of the year.

While Autoflug is an offshoot of an old established company, building, among other things, safety systems for helicopters, Jacobs Energie emerged from a medium-sized electrical engineering company, Motoren-Jacobs. Hans-Henning Jacobs says, "We will bring in the know how from our 500 kW machine as well as from our work on the Preussenelektra WKA 60/2 at Kaiser Wilhelm Koog and in return we anticipate benefits from Autoflug's well developed marketing system." The two companies will continue as two separate entities.

Jacobs is just beginning series production of a 500 kW machine. The prototype has been in operation at a site near Brunsbüttel since May 1994. Five Jacobs 500 kW units were bought by Wind Technik Nord of Stredesand and went in the ground in August at Klixbüll in Nordfriesland. WTN is also now marketing the Jacobs turbine under the name WTN 500/37. Jacobs is active in India, where it has a joint venture partner, and busy in Spain, Egypt and Greece.