The German government on Wednesday agreed a plan to set aside special zones off its northern coast for a host of wind farms that could provide energy for more than eight million homes.
The zones, between 12 and 200 kilometres (seven and 124 miles) offshore, could house 22 wind farms in the North Sea, with a further three farms planned for the Baltic, off the country's northeastern coast.
"By 2020, we want to raise the percentage of renewable energy in our electricity supply to 30 percent on a step-by-step basis. Wind parks should play a significant role in this," said Wolfgang Tiefensee, transport minister.
"From our planned farms in the North Sea alone, we could provide 6.8 million additional homes with electricity," he added.
He said the three additional farms in the Baltic could provide energy for a further 1.5 million households.
In total, Germany plans 40 offshore farms with 2,500 windmills, creating 30,000 jobs in the northern part of the country, Tiefensee told the Hamburger Abendblatt daily's Monday edition.
Tiefensee said the country hoped to produce 25,000 megawatts offshore by 2030, just under half of which will be created by the zones agreed Wednesday.
(c) 2009 AFP
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