Trittin launches master plan

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The massive expansion of offshore wind energy in the North Sea and Baltic Sea should raise wind energy's contribution to Germany's electricity consumption to at least 25% within the next three decades, according to the federal environment ministry. The ministry's master plan for reaching this target, "Government Strategy for Wind Energy Use at Sea," and has now been rubber-stamped by others involved.

In a next step, the government will officially define "areas especially suited for wind stations," the environment ministry stated at the end of January. "The government assumes that in the start phase to 2006, at least 500 MW will be installed offshore. By 2010 the figure will reach 2.3 GW, and by 2025 to 2030, 25-30 GW will be installed at sea," the plan states. "This would correspond to 15% of Germany's electricity consumption in base year 1998. Adding in wind generation on land, within one generation, a quarter of our electricity needs will then be covered by wind," says environment minister Jürgen Trittin.

The ministry had been asked by the secretary of states' committee for sustainable development to draw up a strategy aimed at solving the conflicts of interest between marine protection and wind energy use, as well as ways of speeding the licensing procedure for offshore development. A draft of the document was first presented at an offshore wind energy conference in June 2001.

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