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A series of German wind companies have plans to market wind energy at a green power premium, now that customers are free to choose their supplier. One of them is developing a trading exchange specifically for green power. The article provides details of the companies and their plans.

While the main body of the German wind lobby is fighting against liberalisation and the introduction of a competitive market for renewables, a series of companies have plans to market wind energy at a green power premium now that customers are free to choose their supplier. One of them is developing a trading exchange specifically for green power.

Wind developer WRE Wasserkraft und Regenerative Energieentwicklung says it will start marketing renewables power in Germany in the summer, mainly to households and commercial customers. The company, based in Frankfurt, is also making efforts to co-operate with municipal utilities in its green marketing, says WRE's Markus Kasten. WRE develops renewable plants at home and abroad, raising money from private investors who now number 4000. Its most recent and sixth capital share issue closed at the end of January raising DEM 47.6 million. Most investors have an academic background, says Kasten, with many coming from the teaching professions. On average they have each invested DEM 20,000-30,000, bringing WRE's capital to DEM 81 million for new energy projects, mainly wind and small hydro plant.

Another prospective green power marketer in Germany is Neue Energie Verbund AG (Nevag), a wind project developer and financing company with a similar business structure to WRE, founded at the end of last year in Wiesbaden. Nevag operates 80 MW of wind power in eight wind plant and expects to have three more wind stations on-line by the year's end. Funds are now being raised to expand Nevag and prepare for trading in renewables power, says the company's Hans Linzbach.

Trading exchange

Meantime, green trading company Naturstrom of Düsseldorf, has founded a subsidiary to develop an electricity bourse for power from renewable energies. Naturstrom Handelsplatz, will initially investigate the needs of a system offering standardised trading contracts for spot power supplies from wind, hydro, biomass, solar and other generators of clean power.

For a steady green power supply, short term compensatory trading mechanisms are needed because most renewables generation varies with changes in the weather, according to Naturstrom. Suppliers need to be able to market surplus power or to fill gaps in supply by buying reserve power. For a continuous supply of green power, a bourse for spot and futures trading is absolutely necessary. Düsseldorf, along with Frankfurt, Hannover and Leipzig, is a contender for a new power bourse for trading conventional power, now being discussed in Germany.

Naturstrom has also been granted a licence by the North Rhine Westphalia economics ministry to operate as a power supplier. It can now deliver power to its customers, numbering over 500 with a demand of more than one million kWh annually. Naturstrom only buys power from renewables.

The company is financed by private investors and last month it closed a solicitation to raise its capital to DEM 10 million through the emission of registered stocks at DEM 105 per DEM 100 share.

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