This project was concerned with the legal, institutional, financial, technical and economic conditions that contributed to the success of electricity generated from windmills which had been observed over the past years in various European countries. In particular, findings were to reveal to which extent the apparent attractiveness of wind energy and other regenerative energies could be generalized, and initiated in other EU states. The empirical approach taken to here meant a first project phase of 10 months where about 20 interviews were conducted with providers of wind mill technologies, energy suppliers, ministries, research institutes and interest groups. Enhanced by a review of the pertinent literature, the investigation was then able to show that the existing wind energy technologies in use were, in part, result of a subsidy programme aimed at the technologiy´s energy output, rather than comprising direct payments to the producers. Additional constituents to the near "wind mill boom" in Germany between 1991 and 1995 were
the removal of market entry barriers to what had widely been a preclusive sector,
a provision granted to wind generated electricity in line with the electricity supply bill ("Stromeinspeisungsgesetz"), and
a favourable credit scheme provided by the ERP programme and the environmental programme of the "Deutsche Ausgleichsbank".
Regarding the overall capacity of wind mill technologies in use Germany has emerged as the European leader. Worldwide German technology providers have drawn level with the leading Danish suppliers.In contrast to the "wind mill policy" practiced in Germany, Great Britain has only opened a share of its elecricity market as part of a two-year tendering scheme. The guiding criterion is the price per kwh. The projects included are refinanced on behalf of an allocation to general electricity prices (Non-fossil Fuel Obligation - NFFO). This results in wind mill parks hosting up to 50 wind mill units. With respect to prices, the fierce competition leads to comparatively low levels. Due to relative uncertainty and lack of a long-term planning horizon, however, no significant industry of technology providers has formed.In Denmark the wind mill industry came to develop rather early independent of state financing. There, the industry was able to seize on the export capacities concerning the relevant technologies, becoming the world market leader. Besides governmental objectives and negotiations between wind mill and other electricity providers the introduction of a CO2 tax on non-renewables further contributed to the sucess in general.The overriding emphasis produced by the findings holds that output schemes were observed to be superior in terms of successful market introduction than the direct and exclusive promotion of supplier industries. Still, concerning the removal of financial, institutional, technical, and organisational barriers no one best way is to be offered with respect to the application on other EU states. Nevertheless, the country studies make a host of efficient strategies available in order to overcome existing barriers. Depending on national specifics adoption of similar approaches is tenable in other EU states as well.Analogously, other regenerative energies may as well be prepared for their contribution to future electricity generation.


Europäische Kommission, Generaldirektion Forschung, Brüssel, BE

Project duration

01.01.1995 - 30.06.1996


Dr. Olav Hohmeyer

Project members

Dr. Olav Hohmeyer (Coordinator)
Dr. Wolfgang Bräuer
Dr. Jens Hemmelskamp

Cooperation partner

National Wind Power Ltd., Reading, UK