A "power station" incorporating wind and other renewable generating units to produce a green electricity product which can be traded on the main electricity spot market is being developed by Energy & Meteo Systems (EMS) in partnership with large north-west German regional utility EWE. Prototype wind output forecasting software is due to be completed by the end of 2006, says Matthias Lange of EMS, a company specialising in wind prediction systems and integration of renewable energy sources into conventional systems for power supply. Even though renewable energy is by law sold at a premium price in Germany, this is no reason not to develop other marketing concepts, he says. With spot market prices now peaking above the premium purchase rates for wind, interest is growing in finding other outlets, particularly among operators of wind farms at good wind sites. "Their payments have fallen to the base feed-in rate which is sometimes lower than electricity exchange base-load spot market price," says Lange. "High energy prices have brought a new impulse to such ideas. But electricity prices won't always stay high, so it's important to ensure any new business model works for wind turbines." EMS and EWE, both based in Oldenburg, are already participating in the four-year Anemos program, a pan-European research project on forward prediction of wind plant output which ends in September 2006.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol