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Germany approves second offshore wind project

Germany approves second offshore wind project
FRANKFURT - German maritime planning authority BSH on Wednesday said it had approved a second North Sea wind farm, Butendieck, in a further move to boost the offshore wind energy sector.
Already the world\'s leading onshore wind energy producer with 10,000 megawatt (MW) of capacity, Germany has plans to add 25,000 MW to offshore capacity by 2030 from a current zero. \"Buerger Windpark Butendieck GmbH of Husum received permission to build 80 turbines (of three MW each)...,\" the BSH statement said. \"BSH...must start building work by June 1, 2005, otherwise the permission will be rescinded,\" it added. The park will be in a zone with water depths of 20 metres 34 kilometres off the norh-west German coast near Denmark and owned by a pool of private investors. BSH gave building permission last November for the 1,000 MW Borkum-West project 45 km off the German/Dutch North Sea coast, where construction is due to start in 2003. BSH has a further 30 pending applications for North Sea and Baltic Sea projects. The latest decision took two years and will initially be valid for 25 years. BSH said Butendieck was well away from main commercial shipping routes and safety devices would be added to alert vessels and aircraft getting too near it. The danger of floating ships colliding with the turbines had been virtually ruled out in a risk analysis obtained from Hamburg-based safety auditing firm Germanischer LLoyd. Risks to the wellbeing of sea animals and birds were also ruled out. Germany favours the rapid expansion of wind power to bring down greenhouse gases emissions which many scientists say contribute to damaging global warming. Technical and commericial firms have said they would feel encouraged by this latest approval, although raising finance for new projects - estimated to be costing up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.55 billion) each - will be another hurdle. REUTERS NEWS PICTURE SERVICE
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