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New offshore wind farms on the way

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15:09 CEST+02:00
The German government wants to build up to 30 offshore wind farms in a bid to meet its renewable energy targets, Environment Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee said in an interview published Sunday.

Tiefensee told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that the wind farms would be

built in the Baltic and North seas and said some 2,000 windmills should soon be producing 11,000 megawatts of electricity.

The government is aiming to obtain "25,000 megawatts of energy from wind farms by 2030", Tiefensee said.

"The rise in the oil price has made this all the more pressing and the interest from investors shows that it is economically viable," he added.

The first wind farm will go up off Borkum island in the North Sea later this year, the paper said.

Germany's lower house of parliament passed a law last month aimed at increasing the amount of power generated by renewable energy sources like wind or solar power to 30 percent from the current 14 percent by 2020.

Wind energy currently makes up 7 percent of the nation's energy consumption.

The government has agreed to honour a decision to close the country's 17 nuclear power plants by 2020 but remains divided over the issue.

European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso weighed into the debate in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, urging Germany to rethink its decision to phase out nuclear energy.

"We know that nuclear energy is a controversial subject in Germany, but other nations are increasingly seeing it as a solution, at least a temporary one, to help stop climate change and reduce our dependency on oil and gas," he said.

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