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Fresh air for wind energy sails; government hopes larger subsidies for wind energy will help the country meet its renewable energy production goals  

Wind energy advocates and the opposition are welcoming the Liberal-Conservative government’s long-term strategy for boosting renewable energy production.

The new proposal increases subsidies for wind energy and paves the way for installing more giant offshore turbines.

Under the plan, subsidies for a kilowatt hour produced by a new wind turbine would be increased to DKK 0.20 (EUR 0.02) from the current DKK 0.123 (EUR 0.01) in the first five years and be gradually decreased afterward.

The subsidy programme is intended to make it more profitable to install wind turbines and help the government meet its goal of doubling Denmark’s renewable energy production to 30 percent by 2025.

The plan also included setting up a giant 200-megawatt wind turbine park off the coast of Jutland.

Lars Christian Lilleholt, energy spokesperson for the prime minister’s Liberal party, said that the programme was crucial for supporting the domestic wind turbine industry.

‘This is a strong signal that Denmark is serious about renewable energy,’ Lilleholt told financial daily Børsen.

The Danish Wind Energy Association, which had made a similar proposal, was pleased the government had adopted its ideas.

‘We’re happy to see a realistic proposal that will create a broad consensus about future energy policy,’ said managing director Bjarne Lundager.

The Social Democrats, the parliament’s largest opposition party, also welcomed the proposal, which it felt was a reversal of the government’s reticent approach to wind energy in the past.

‘The government has sent a clear signal that it is willing to negotiate and make a deal,’ said Kim Mortensen, the party’s energy spokesperson.

Mortensen noted, however, that the Social Democrats would like to see the subsidy raised to DKK 0.29 per kilowatt hour.

The Copenhagen Post

22 June 2007

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