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Updated: October 19, 2011 11:24 IST

German help offered to set up wind farms

Special Correspondent
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Ingo Karsten, Consul-General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bangalore. Photo: S. Mahinsha
The Hindu
Ingo Karsten, Consul-General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bangalore. Photo: S. Mahinsha

Kerala could make use of German expertise in setting up offshore wind farms along its 700-km long coast, Ingo Karsten, Consul-General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bangalore, said here on Tuesday.

Addressing presspersons here on his first visit to Kerala, Mr. Karsten said the long coastline offered good potential for the State to harness wind energy. He said offshore farms could be a viable option in the State where land was scarce. “I have had talks with the political leadership here on the possibility of collaboration in setting up wind farms.”

He believed that the high capital investment in offshore wind farms would be offset by long-term cost benefit and yield. Germany, with its commitment to capping all nuclear power plants by 2020, had made remarkable achievements in tapping renewable sources, including wind and solar energy.

Mr. Karsten said Kerala and Germany could benefit from mutual collaboration spanning the fields of biotechnology, waste management, scientific research, infrastructure, and IT.

During his visit, he had discussions with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Governor M.O.H. Farook, and Chief Secretary P. Prabhakaran. He is scheduled to hold talks with captains of the IT industry and other business leaders.

He also visited the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology here to explore the possibility of collaboration with German institutes in scientific research. “We made a start with the tie-up between the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and the National Centre for Biological Research, Bangalore. There is scope for widening the collaboration to include research in tropical viral diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and genetically modified foods.”

Mr. Karsten said German companies could make significant contribution to India in areas such as renewable energy, infrastructure, and health care. “I see vast scope for cooperation with Kerala. I am trying to find opportunities for German business to invest here.” He said Germany would be interested in infrastructure projects such as the Kochi Metro and construction of airports and seaports. “I will bring these projects to the attention of German business federations,” he said.

On Goethe Zentrum

Mr. Karsten said he was surprised at the overwhelming demand for the German language in the State. “Over a period of three years, Goethe Zentrum, the centre for German language and culture in Thiruvananthapuram, has registered an impressive growth in the number of students from 12 to over 600. Most of the students passing out of the Department of German under the University of Kerala land jobs immediately.”

Mr. Karsten said German universities were offering attractive scholarships to students and researchers. “We have made the visa regime friendly. A visa can be obtained in three to five working days.”

He said German companies that had invested in India were quite upbeat about the market potential here. “They are making good business in India.”


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