Around 80 people attended a workshop last month held by the Schleswig-Holstein state planning office to air the pros and cons of offshore wind energy. Members of the wind industry, of environmental groups and of the shipping industry were present. Officials from neighbouring länder also attended. The findings of the workshop will eventually be presented for inter-ministerial discussion along with a proposal on whether a pilot offshore development should be given government support. The aim of the workshop was to pool information in preparation of a legal opinion on offshore development, says the planÊ ning office. Topics discussed included potential effects on the environment and sea birds, radar disturbance, shipping channels, use of existing underwater cables, and the problems of wrecks and ammunition dumped after the Second World War. Required distances between offshore wind stations and nature protection zones were also discussed and it was noted that such matters also involve rulings from the European Commission.