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Page added on May 31, 2007

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Who Owns the Wind?

With a growing number of wind power stations in Germany, a new kind of legal case is rearing its ugly head. The crime: stealing wind.


It’s an offense not mentioned in the bible or the statute books. But in a broader sense it is about theft, even when the booty itself is invisible. But it is still a major problem for the German legal system, including a court in Leipzig that is currently hearing a case involving a dispute between the operators of two wind turbine facilities. Who owns the wind?


The parties in the dispute are the owner of a wind farm in Deliztsch in the eastern German state of Saxony and a businessman, who wants to set up a bigger wind farm in the immediate vicinity.


The crux of the case is earnings. When two wind turbines are located too close to one another, one often falls into a slipstream. The propellers in the first wind farm decrease the wind pressure hitting the rotor blades in the second wind farm located in the slipstream. “This wind theft naturally affects profits,” Leipzig lawyer Martin Maslaton says, justifying his client’s complaint.

Spiegel



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