Wind speeds lower than originally forecast at a Czech wind station have prompted the Czech Wind Energy Society to guarantee the reliability of wind speed measurements for future projects, the group has announced. Problems arose at the first Czech wind farm to be installed -- six Vestas 500 kW turbines at Ostrusna in 1994. Wind measurements were taken at a height of ten metres and extrapolated up to 30 metres. But the average wind speed at ten metres turned out to be higher than that at 30 metres, explains Milan Miessler of the society, based in Prague. Aware of the need for help from foreign wind companies to open up the country's wind sector, the organisation has pledged that future measurements be handled professionally, together with the Prague Meteorological Institute. In November 1997, this message was delivered to the Danish Embassy to encourage new Danish participation in the Czech market. Miessler acknowledges that recent government turbulence in the Czech Republic has not helped the outlook for renewable energies in the country. Although an investment programme exists for renewables, insufficient funds are available for wind energy to receive a share every year. Discussions continue on whether a carbon tax or a grid levy of 1% would be the best source of renewables support funds.
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