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Up the wind

Without a heavy expansion of the European grid capacity the green revolution may be significantly delayed, industry warns.

By 2020 the wind power capacity in Europe must be ten times as big as it is today. This goal, however, may not be reached, if governments across Europe do not speed up modernisation of the grid.

Due to its geographical location Germany plays a key role in reaching the EU target. In February German energy giant E.ON strongly critized Berlin for not providing sufficient grid capacity even for planned German off-shore wind parks.

In the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster january 2011 German authorities decided to phase out neuclear power and to boost the renewable energy share of total energy supply from 20 to 35 percent by 2020. This, however, may not happen, warned CEO in E.ON, Mike Winkel in an interview with Berliner Zeitung in February.  He described the situation as being catastrophic: "Nobody wants to invest if  grid connection remains as insecure as it is for the time being, not E.ON nor anybody else."

Danish state owned DONG has already left German off-shore project Borkum Riffgrund and might reconsider remaining projects, if steps toward grid modernisation are not taken soon on European level, senior vice president i DONG Energy Christina Grumstrup Sørensen, said earlier this year.

In worst case Europe will end up having the same problems as China, also heavily expanding its wind power capacity these years. In the industrial giant craving for energy one out of four wind turbines run idle due to low grid capacity.

Havvindmøller trues af langsomt elnet
Windenergie - Katastrophe für offshore
Hver fjerde vindmølle står stille

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