An "action plan" to speed offshore development of wind power and reap the economic rewards of attracting industry to a relatively isolated corner of Germany was passed by the government of Lower Saxony in late May. An economic association of wind stations based in Cuxhaven, the Wirtschaftsverband Windkraftwerke (WVW), is welcoming the state government's move to not only accelerate grid connection of offshore stations, but also to earmark suitable areas for wind development within the 12 mile zone over which it has sovereignty at sea. Lower Saxony says it will also expand its ports in co-operation with wind companies so they can optimally meet the industry's needs. "The passage of the action program shows the Lower Saxony government views offshore wind parks as realistic projects not utopian dreams," says WVW's Wolfgang von Geldern, who is also head of Plambeck Neue Energien, a wind project developer. Lower Saxony ports were prompt to signal their co-operation. "I think we can achieve much more for the region between the rivers Weser and Elbe if we work together," says Cuxhaven mayor Helmut Heyne, referring to an offshore "competence centre" set up in the town, the German wind energy institute DEWI at the port of Wilhelmshaven and the Offshore Agency in Bremen.
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