New lobbyists

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The French renewable industry has formed its own lobby group. Syndicat des Industriels et Professionnels Français des Energies Renouvelables (Siprofer) comprises 20 members with turnovers greater than FRF 2 million. One of the first aims of the group is to lobby for a steadier flow of public funds for co-operation projects abroad and in French territories overseas. France spends much of its public money for renewables there, some FRF 30-40 million a year, but on programmes split betweeen five different organisations with a stop-go attitude to project financing. Siprofer president is Marc Vergnet. Although best known for hand pumps in Africa, his company's wind division (reshuffled from Aerowatt -- a builder of small and medium turbines for extreme environments) has installed 2000 wind turbines in 20 countries. Blade firm Atout Vent, the best known company in the French wind industry, is not yet a member of the new lobby group.

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