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Energy firm has high hopes for wind farm

With eight 78-metre high wind turbines, the Gotthard project would not only be the largest wind farm but also the highest in Switzerland, at 2,040-2,131 metres above sea level. ...However, obstacles remain before sails start turning in the Gotthard pass. The area first has to be rezoned by the local authorities before planning permission could be sought and granted. ...Plans for a wind farm on the Gotthard Pass are not new. A report on wind energy in Switzerland published by the state in 2004 said locating turbines in the Gotthard Pass would be "unthinkable".

A Swiss renewable energy firm wants to build the country's biggest and highest wind farm on the Gotthard Pass, supplying power to 15,000 people.
If the SFr48 million ($41 million) project gets the go-ahead, the turbines could be in operation by October 2009, a spokesman for REnInvest said.

With eight 78-metre high wind turbines, the Gotthard project would not only be the largest wind farm but also the highest in Switzerland, at 2,040-2,131 metres above sea level.

Wind power is an area in which Switzerland is lagging behind European Union nations. Wind turbines currently supply electricity for a mere 4,000 households.

The government is aiming to increase electricity produced by renewable sources to 500 gigawatt hours by 2010, equal to one per cent of Swiss electricity use in 2001.

A new reimbursement scheme for renewable energies to boost wind power production will start next year. It is hoped the lure of subsidies will help wind energy become more competitive, even if it remains a niche product.

Not plain sailing

However, obstacles remain before sails start turning in the Gotthard pass. The area first... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A Swiss renewable energy firm wants to build the country's biggest and highest wind farm on the Gotthard Pass, supplying power to 15,000 people.
If the SFr48 million ($41 million) project gets the go-ahead, the turbines could be in operation by October 2009, a spokesman for REnInvest said.

With eight 78-metre high wind turbines, the Gotthard project would not only be the largest wind farm but also the highest in Switzerland, at 2,040-2,131 metres above sea level.

Wind power is an area in which Switzerland is lagging behind European Union nations. Wind turbines currently supply electricity for a mere 4,000 households.

The government is aiming to increase electricity produced by renewable sources to 500 gigawatt hours by 2010, equal to one per cent of Swiss electricity use in 2001.

A new reimbursement scheme for renewable energies to boost wind power production will start next year. It is hoped the lure of subsidies will help wind energy become more competitive, even if it remains a niche product.

Not plain sailing

However, obstacles remain before sails start turning in the Gotthard pass. The area first has to be rezoned by the local authorities before planning permission could be sought and granted.

The community of Airolo presented the rezoning plan to the Ticino cantonal authorities yesterday. "We are quite confident that in the interests of the community the green light will be given sometime in spring next year," REnInvest chief executive Claudio Zanini told swissinfo.

"Obviously we expect some objections from local and national organisations but we have already spoken to several organisations and they have reacted positively to the project," Zanini added.

The high, exposed location is an obvious choice for some - and out of the question for others. REnInvest will submit an environmental impact study in the coming months.

Plans for a wind farm on the Gotthard Pass are not new. A report on wind energy in Switzerland published by the state in 2004 said locating turbines in the Gotthard Pass would be "unthinkable".

Swiss wind power
At present, there are 14 wind farms in Switzerland. Taken together, their output is around 12 Megawatts.

The largest installation is that of Mont-Crosin, in the Bernese Jura, whose eight turbines generate around 60% of the country's wind energy.

Electricity generated by wind turbines covers a mere 0.012% of the country's energy requirements.

One objective of Swiss energy policy is to increase this figure to between 0.1 and 0.2 per cent by 2010.

Key facts 
Between 2001 and 2005, the total power output of wind turbines worldwide increased from 20,000 to 60,000 Megawatts.

The electricity produced in this way is sufficient to meet the needs of 35 million households.

With an output of 18,428 MW, Germany is the leading wind power nation.
Next come Spain (10,027 MW), the United States (9,149 MW), India (4,430 MW), Denmark (3,122 MW), Italy (1,717 MW) and China (1,260 MW).
In Austria, a country not unlike Switzerland in terms of geography, wind farms produce 819 MW of electricity.

 

 


Source: http://www.swissinfo.org/en...

OCT 24 2007
http://www.windaction.org/posts/11586-energy-firm-has-high-hopes-for-wind-farm
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