Germany gets economic lift with wind energy

Ceremony held to mark the construction of a new wind farm in the national waters of the Baltic Sea.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  Sept. 22, 2017 at 7:04 AM
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Sept. 22 (UPI) -- With the start of construction of a new wind farm off the coast of Germany, officials said the nation's economy was supported through low-carbon efforts.

German energy company E.ON, with support from Norway's Statoil, hosted a ceremony to mark the start of construction for the Arkona offshore wind farm, which formally started in late August.

Christian Pegel, a regional Germany energy minister, said the wind project represented an important economic milestone because of its new job creation potential.

"The Arkona offshore wind project is a key investment in the expansion of wind power," he said in a statement.

E.ON laid the first of the 60 foundations for the wind farm in national waters of the Baltic Sea in late August. Foundations for a common substation were installed last month and the entire project could start generating energy for German consumers by 2019.

At peak capacity, the Arkona wind farm will be able to meet the energy needs of around 400,000 average households from 2019 onwards.

E.ON added it was utilizing new steel foundations for offshore wind farms that have a new coating that prevents corrosion and is therefore more environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

Germany has one of the more ambitious renewable energy objectives in the European Union and the regional leader for installed wind energy capacity. The United Kingdom ranks second.

In his State of the Union address last week, EU President Jean-Claude Juncker said, with the United States stepping away from the Paris climate agreement, Europe would "be the leader when it comes to the fight against climate change."

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