Matthias Platzeck, the governor of Brandenburg, sits in a large conference room at the Vestas plant in Lauchhammer and smiles. Outside, some 44-metre-long rotor blades, ready to be assembled into giant wind-power units, rest on trucks that are soon heading out to customers all over Europe. Vestas, the world’s largest producer of wind power units, opened the rotor blade plant here in Brandenburg in 2002. It was Vestas’ first plant outside Denmark and has since evolved into one of its most productive, cranking out some 1,500 blades a year. ‘Here in this region, you can almost touch Brandenburg’s successful structural transition,’ Platzeck says.
A green renewal in Brandenburg
Brandenburg, once East Germany’s coal mining centre, is transforming itself into a renewable energy hub. Wind, biomass and solar energy companies and an “energy forest” are behind the state’s economic comeback. A success story – although there is also a surprising amount of public opposition to some of the green schemes.