European Business Briefs: wind energy, UV disinfection and ethical funds

In this week’s European Business Briefs, a wind farm built on brownfield land, UV water disinfection, accreditation for socially responsible investment and the loss of jobs from a wind energy firm.

Petrol companies BP and ChevronTexaco are starting up a 22MW wind farm in the Netherlands, whose electricity will be sold to the Dutch national grid. The US$23 million project, located near Rotterdam, will generate enough electricity to power 20,000 homes. The project is the first large scale wind farm built on a brownfield site and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20,000 a year.

Turbine manufacturer Vesta Wind Systems is reducing its growth expectations forecast for next year from 50% to 30%. As a consequence, the company will be laying off 533 staff. With fewer projects planned, turnover for 2003 is predicted to be €1.8 billion rather than €2.2 billion. Capital expenditure is expected to reach €100 million with continued sales in Germany, Italy Holland and the UK.

German water technology firm Wedeco AG is supplying UV disinfection systems to wastewater treatment plants Penzberg and Benediktbeuren. The systems are expected to be operational by the summer of 2003.

A European accreditation scheme for socially responsible investment is expected to be ready by spring 2003, according to Ethical Performance newsletter. The European Commission is funding the scheme, which will be drawn up by the European Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum. The scheme will be based on a 14-point code launched earlier this year by the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development.

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