Paris skyline to include wind turbines

PARIS, FRANCE - Paris city authorities are planning to build small wind turbines into one of the world's most famous skylines to take advantage of the strong winds that sometimes sweep high points such as Montmartre.

"We are not talking of big models like those we see in the countryside. We are in Paris and we musn't disfigure the landscape," Denis Baupin, a deputy mayor in charge of sustainable development, told Le Parisien newspaper.

The turbines would be installed on flat rooftops in four neighborhoods, which experience strong winds, he said in the interview.

One of them is Montmartre in northern Paris home to the celebrated Sacre-Coeur Basilica and the Moulin Rouge cabaret, whose name translates as "Red Windmill."

Other capital cities such as London have already installed big wind turbines on their city fringes and a huge turbine is expected to be built for the 2012 Olympic games, the paper said.

The turbines in Paris will produce electricity that will be sold to the state-owned utility EDF or directly used in the buildings where they will be installed, Baupin said.

Baupin said the city's authorities were also studying setting up water turbines under the capital's bridges of the Seine River.

"The first tests will start in 2011 or 2012," he said.

France aims for terrestrial wind energy to reach 20,000 megawatts by 2020, or around 20 percent of current capacity, up from 3,000 MW now.


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