161 MW in first six months

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Close to 161 MW of rated wind energy capacity was installed in Germany during the first half of 1996, increasing the total number of turbines in operation by 322 to 3843 and raising Germany's operating wind capacity to just over 1267 MW. However, the DEWI wind institute also reports that installation activity in the first six months of 1996 was well down on the same period last year. In terms of generating capacity, installations were down by 21.3% or 43.6 MW. The number of turbines which went in the ground between January to June 1996 fell by 119 compared with the figure of 441 for the same period a year earlier. The average size of wind plant chosen by operators continues to increase -- from 463 kW in first half 1995 to 499 kW in 1996. Slow licensing procedures and the growing uncertainty over investing in wind energy after attacks by major utilities on the Electricity Feed Law are said to be reasons for the slowing market. But the major cause of the sluggish rate of installation is probably the extremely cold weather at the start of the year which prevented turbine foundations being laid.

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