No less than 7% of the energy needs of Saxony-Anhalt in east Germany could be supplied by wind energy. This is the prediction of a new study by the Energieagentur Sachsen-Anhalt and Windconsult of Rostock. This would be achieved with around 1000 wind turbines compared with the 63 in operation now. A positive side effect would be the avoidance of one million tonnes of CO2 emissions. The study earmarks suitable regions for wind energy development, taking geographical, landscape and grid considerations into account. Saxony-Anhalt's environment minister, Heidrun Heidecke, supports a rapid expansion of wind energy and forecasts investments of DEM 1 billion in the sector, of which. 20-30% of this would benefit local companies. The regional utility Energieversorgung Magdeburg is not so keen on wind, according to local reports, but nevertheless wants to go ahead with its own wind projects -- mainly because wind electricity generated "in-house" is cheaper. It gets the wind power at cost price rather than having to pay the Electricity Feed Law premium price to independent producers.
Political support has recently been