Amid rocketing oil prices, the German government has proposed a law to increase output of renewable energy as part of a long-waited environmental package and plans to construct 2,000 offshore windmills by 2030.
The German government wants to build up to 30 offshore windfarms in a bid to meet its renewable energy targets, Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee said in an interview published Sunday.
Tiefensee told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the windfarms would be built in the Baltic and North seas and said some 2,000 windmills should soon be producing 11,000 megawatts of electricity.
The government is aiming to obtain "25,000 megawatts of energy from windfarms by 2030", Tiefensee said.
"The rise in the oil price has made this all the more pressing and the interest from investors shows that it is economically viable," he added.
The first windfarm will go up off Borkum island in the North Sea later this year, according Welt am Sonntag.
Earlier this year, the French energy giant Areva announced that it would sell windmills to the German renewable energy company Prokon Nord to enable it to build a windfarm near Borkum.
Germany's Bundestag or lower house of parliament passed a law last month aimed at increasing the amount of power generated by renewable energy sources like wind or solar power to 30 percent from the current 14 percent by 2020.
Wind energy currently makes up seven percent of the nation's energy consumption.
The new law was part of a long-awaited package aimed at fighting climate change agreed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's left-right coalition government.
The government has agreed to honour a decision to close the country's 17 nuclear power plants by 2020 but remains divided over the issue.
Merkel insists that a nuclear phase-out would hinder efforts to slash Germany's dependency on greenhouse gas-producing fossil fuels.
But Tiefensee, a member of Merkel's Social Democrat coalition partners, said that investing in windfarms was better than keeping the nuclear plants running.
"We believe in renewable energy and not in nuclear energy."
Date created : 2008-07-06