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In Europe, $43B for renewable energy

Jan 06, 2010 - UPI

Germany's minister for economy and technology said a $43 billion project linking nine countries to renewable energy was "crucial" to Europe's energy goals.

Rainer Bruderle said the offshore energy park that would link tidal power with wind and hydroelectric plants "focuses on network connections and integration, which is crucial for wind energy to reach consumers and to make offshore energy generation a success."

The plan is backed by Germany, Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg, the EUobserver reported Wednesday.

The plan calls for new cables that could handle the fluctuations inherent in renewable energy sources. They would connect offshore windmills controlled by Germany and Britain with hydroelectric sources in Norway and tidal power stations controlled by Belgium and the Netherlands.

Ministers from the nine countries are scheduled to meet in February to discuss the project projected to produce 100 gigawatts of power.

One gigawatt is equal to 1 billion watts.

The project would generate "new funding and expert direction to grow this vital industry," said Britain's Minister for Sustainability Philip Hunt.

The European Union has set a goal of producing a fifth of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020.

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