Denmark aids South Africa project -- Clean development mechanism

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A wind farm planned for South Africa is to provide carbon emission credits for Denmark's first international trade under the Kyoto protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The project, which has been earmarked DKK 15 million (EUR 2 million) in overseas aid, is being planned as a symbolic demonstration of CDM at work when delegates gather in Johannesburg for September's global climate change convention.

Denmark's new centre-right government, however, is making severe cuts in the country's overseas aid budget and the 5.2 MW wind farm might become a victim. The proposed Darling National Demonstration Wind farm is being backed by the Oelsner Group, which founded a company, Darling IPP, to develop and sell the wind generated electricity. It has acquired a site at Moedmaag Hill, halfway between Darling and Yzerfontein, near Cape Town, where average wind speed was found to be in excess of 7m/s. Managing director of the Oelsner Group, Hermann Oelsner, says: "The project is in fast track mode."

However, until a decision on funding is made, the project cannot proceed and might not be finished by September, says Christian Kruse from the government's aid agency, Danced. Economic and practical help for the project has been forthcoming from wind turbine manufacturers Bonus, of Denmark, and AN Windenergie GmbH, of Germany, though the technology supplier has yet to be chosen. Bonus director Palle Nørgaard declines to comment on his company's involvement.

Reduce emissions

The mechanisms for international trade in carbon credits were agreed internationally in November in Morocco. The world's developed countries are to reduce their carbon emissions, either through energy saving and the use of renewable energy at home, or by investing in emissions reducing projects abroad. Following the Morocco agreement, the way is now open for a full ratification of the Kyoto protocol.

Denmark's industry confederation has recommended that during the first period of the protocol, from 2008 to 2012, Denmark use a proportion of the country's overseas aid spending to accrue carbon credits in eastern Europe through CDM projects. It predicts the emergence of a huge market for emissions reduction technology as a result of the treaty, one Denmark is well placed to exploit.

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