Dec. 20 - A wind turbine entirely made from wood has been inaugurated in Germany. Joanna Partridge reports
Environmental technology is branching out. German firm Timber Tower have built what they're calling the world's first wind turbine entirely made from wood. It's just been inaugurated near Hanover. The wind turbine is constructed from a system of glued, laminated timber panels. These panels are assembled on site into a hollow tower. The company's manager Holger Giebel says using wood has several advantages, including building taller turbines - up to 200 metres high. SOUNDBITE: Holger Giebel, Manager of "Timber Tower", saying (German): "The wooden parts are manageable, so they can be transported on standard-sized trucks to the construction site, reducing the need for wide loads. You can also build the turbine higher thanks to the modular construction. The individual plates allow for the base to be bigger so it can be built higher." Germany's Environment Minister Peter Altmeier is convinced. He says the tower can be made with less damage to the environment than a standard steel wind turbine. SOUNDBITE: German Environment Minister Peter Altmeier, saying (English): "This turbine is the first made of natural, therefore renewable, resources which can all be re-used and which can be found in the surroundings where the turbine is being built. This is a huge step forward for the environment. It has a CO2-friendly production method." Germany has promoted renewable energy sources for some time, and will become more reliant on them as it phases out its nuclear power stations. Timber Tower says they want to make wind power even greener.