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Germany aims to build wind energy reputation

Energy company E.ON connects its Amrumbank West wind farm to the nation's grid.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Feb. 4, 2016 at 8:12 AM
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HAMBURG, Germany, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- German energy company E.ON said Thursday its Amrumbank West wind farm in the North Sea was now servicing the nation's energy grid.

The German energy company completed construction at its Amrumbank West wind farm in the German waters of the North and the Humber Gateway project for the British grid last year.

E.ON CEO Johannes Teyssen was joined by state and federal officials at a Humburg ceremony marking the start of power generation from the offshore wind farm. With a capacity to meet the electricity demands of 300,000 average German households, Teyssen said the momentum is just beginning.

"Every energy has its time, and the time for expanding offshore wind is definitely now," he said in a statement. "Offshore will be needed if we want to achieve the targets of the energy transition."

Germany is one of the world leaders in renewable energy, a trend emphasized after its decision to move away from nuclear power in the wake of the nuclear tragedy in Japan in 2011. Its share of electricity generated from renewable resources doubled from 2000 to 12 percent by 2006 and the country aims to get nearly half of its power from low-carbon options by 2030.

E.ON has invested more than $1 billion on Amrumbank West, a facility that has the potential to reduce German emissions of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, by more than 700,000 tons.

"Hamburg and the federal states of northern Germany support plans to push ahead with the network infrastructure and the construction of further wind farms," First Mayor Olaf Scholz said. "Clean power is needed all over Germany and green electricity from the North Sea gives the German energy transition the necessary support."

The connection of the German wind farm follows an announcement from European renewables company DONG Energy that its Hornsea project off the British coast will, at a capacity of 1,000 megawatts, be the world's largest offshore wind farm to date.

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