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Wind could supply 10% of electricity in Europe

Offshore wind energy could supply 10% of electricity in Europe by 2020

Amsterdam, 4 April 2005 - Launched today, the Greenpeace report "Offshore Wind - Implementing a new Power House for Europe" is a strategic blueprint that outlines how offshore wind farms will be able to supply about 10% of Europe's electricity sector by 2020 (1). The report represents a crucial tool in the race to cut greenhouse emissions. It also highlights the urgency for political, technical and environmental actions to build up an environmentally friendly powerhouse.

The report explains how an electricity grid in Europe is needed to integrate offshore wind farms into the power system. According to the report, one of the critical parts of the energy solution in Europe will be to integrate 70.000 MW offshore-wind capacity - equal to 70 coal power plants - into the existing electricity grid. This will require a power grid at sea, as there is none at the moment.

"Climate change is the biggest threat we face. It represents a key challenge that needs to be tackled by competitive eco-technologies and help defeat global warming. Planning and preparation must start now if we want to guarantee the construction of an electricity grid at sea. We urge governments to support the planning and construction of an offshore-wind electricity grid within EU waters." says Sven Teske, Greenpeace International energy expert.

Europe is facing a profound transformation of its energy system over the next few decades. In this time frame, governments and utilities will decide on the next generation of power plants, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energies and dramatically increasing energy efficiency. The Greenpeace report, which was written by Deutsche WindGuard GmbH, shows that wind energy is a critical part of the solution.

"European Governments have to redirect subsides from fossil and nuclear energy projects to offshore-wind energy implementation. These first offshore wind projects are needed to unlock further the cost reduction potential of this new technology. Time is running and the infrastructure must be ready by 2015," Teske concluded.

Greenpeace demands the adoption of ambitious, legally binding long-term targets for renewable energy sources and for the decrease of energy consumption. All subsidies to fossil and nuclear fuels on the EU and member states level should be phased out and redirected to renewable energies immediately.

Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems and to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. Deutsche WindGuard is an independent service and consulting company for wind energy.

Notes to editor:
(1) The report includes maps from all existing and planned EU offshore-wind farms and gives background information on the major aspects of grid integration, the status of environmental impact assessments and the current political framework for offshore-wind farms in north European countries.

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