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A recently completed study of wind energy potential in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern concludes that under a business-as-usual scenario around 231 MWcould be installed made up of 56 wind farms with 442 turbines in a mix of 250 kW, 500 kW and 1 MW sizes producing around 507 GWh a year. This scenario takes into account locations which are immediately economic and technically exploitable.

However, if sites are included which reach the point of being economic when energy prices rise slightly and wind energy prices fall, then 491 MW of wind capacity could be installed, made up of 120 wind stations with a total 1198 wind turbines producing some 960 GWh a year. "Over the next five to ten years between 10% and a maximum 20% of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's demand for electricity could be provided by wind energy. The results show very effectively what an immense potential wind energy holds even when environment and landscape restrictions are strictly observed," says Wind Consult of Rostock, which conducted the study.

So far, of the over 100 turbines and 27 MW now installed in the state, 97 machines with a rated capacity of 21.6 MW have been supported under Germany's 250 MW wind support programme. Some 210 applications for connection to the grid have been made for a total 567 turbines with a rated capacity of 250 MW, already matching the more conservative wind potential prediction by Wind Consult.

New support guidelines have been agreed for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern which specify that wind projects granted subsidy at coastal locations should receive 17% of eligible investment costs, while projects inland receive 20%. Any renewable project in which a considerable economic risk is involved can receive up to 40% of investment costs. The subsidies are in addition to the premium payment for wind power guaranteed under Germany's Electricity Feed Law. A condition of support is that data are supplied on power output, noise emissions and proof of grid compatibility for the chosen turbine type.

Until now, DEM 8 million a year has been made available for the broad introduction of all renewable energies in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. However, "A larger sum will be available in 1995 but I can't yet state a figure, " said Ingedore Rudolph from the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern economy ministry at a recent wind congress in Rostock. In addition the state provides funds for innovative technologies. Wind turbine manufacturers Nordex of Denmark, which has a German subsidiary, and German Ventis have benefited from this fund for development of their respective 800 kW and 500 kW prototypes.

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