Six wind energy projects have been selected for funding under the 1995 round of the European Union's Thermie programme (see table). They are among 56 "Type A" projects in the renewable energy sector of Thermie. Together with the Joule programme, the Thermie programme for demonstration of innovative energy technology makes up the EU's research programme for Non Nuclear Energy.

In total 151 "Type A" projects are receiving an estimated ECU 110.7 million in support in 1995. The Rational Use of Energy sector does slightly better than renewables, with ECU 29.9 million reserved for 52 projects, compared with ECU 29.3 million for the 56 renewables schemes. The six wind projects are to receive about ECU 6.5 million of the total -- about ECU 250,000 more than last year when funding was drastically cut to about half of that in 1992 and 1993 (Windpower Monthly, October 1994).

Thermie's "Type A" projects are supplemented by broader "Type B" actions -- for strategy, dissemination and support measures -- several of which also concern wind energy, but include other technologies. Some ECU 136.6 million has been allocated to 401 "Type B" proposals.

The number of solely wind projects is down on previous years -- from 11 to six -- but this time more than one turbine per project can be subsidised. Theoretically projects can receive up to 40% subsidy, though none of the wind projects is to receive anywhere near this level.

For wind energy, the 1995 call for proposals was split into two areas: a call for installation of commercially priced wind farms in complex and extremely windy terrain, where up to ten units, or 5 MW, would be eligible for support; and a call for wind turbines of innovative design which had reached the demonstration size. For both types of projects preference was given to larger turbines. The deadline for submission of proposals was March 15.

The six wind projects were chosen from 36 applications for wind energy, the second largest renewables area for "Type A" projects after solar. The wind applications -- four of which were considered not eligible for Thermie -- were received from 13 countries. Of the renewables, solar was by far the most successful in numbers of projects, with 24 selected, but wind is to receive most support, followed by biomass (ECU 6.2 million) and solar (ECU 6 million).

The average rated capacity of wind turbines in the applications was 589 kW and the average size of wind turbine receiving support is 630 kW. Thermie will support the installation of 21.4 MW of wind plant in 1995 in five European countries. Four proposals for 18.2 MW (ECU 3.9 million) are also on a reserve list among 19 renewables projects asking for nearly ECU 13 million in additional funding if more money becomes available before the end of the year. The Thermie programme's budget is still undecided following its transfer from under the wing of the EU's energy directorate, DG XVII, to the Directorate General for Research, DG XII. Here its funding was drastically reduced, to the great consternation of the European Parliament which is still battling for more funds.

Of the six wind projects, German companies are involved in no less than three of them, with the UK and Denmark also well represented with two projects apiece. Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands are each involved in one project.

Interestingly the German industry's two arch rivals, Enercon and Tacke, are to co-operate on a project in Greece -- claimed to be the first large scale wind farm in Europe to be built in a highly complex terrain with high turbulence and wind speeds. The wind farm is to be built on Crete by the Sitia development agency with the aid of the Greek wind centre, CRES. The developers were anxious to test two turbine types. Enercon is to supply five 500 kW units and Tacke four TW 600 kW machines, says Enercon's Juanita Fromme. The wind station should be on line in the latter half of 1996. It is not yet clear if the machines will all be installed on one site, so it remains to be seen whether a direct comparison of the two turbine types is possible.

Thermie 1995SOURCE: DG XVII

Accepted wind projects

PowerNo. ofTotalTotalSupport


Ecogen (UK), Bonus (DK), Trigen (UK), Ocean (DK)Largie, Scotland, UKBonus750645006611521

Empresa (PO), Tandem (DE)Azores, PortugalEnercon E-302801439206296926Support only 10 units

Habitat, Nordex (DE)Nachtmanderscheid, Lux.Nordex 52800648006053875Support 8 units

SDO, CRES (HE), Tacke (DE), Enercon (DE)Crete, GreeceTacke - Enercon600/5004+5490074341697

Border Wind (UK), WindMaster (NL)Blyth Harbour, UKWindmaster 750750215007391958Offshore

Saporito, Vestas (DK)Meenacloghspar, IrelandVestas V42600318002192572Connected to hydro


Thermie by sector

1995 energy demonstration funding

No. ofEstimated

Sector projects Support*

Type A

Rational Use of Energy 52 29915

Renewable Energy 56 29339

Solid Fuels 8 26469

Hydro Carbons 35 25003

Total 151 110726

Type BStrategy 52 6661

Dissemination 110 6141

Support measures 46 8914

SMEs** 42 4127

Total 250 25843

*European Currency Units (thousands)

** Small and medium sized enterprises