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Netherlands

Netherlands

Utilities rush for renewables

With the deadline for the Dutch utilities' voluntary obligation to secure 3% of output from renewable resources by end 2000 fast approaching, the impact of the utilities' rush for renewables is beginning to be felt. Leiden-based EWR is the latest to present its plans for fulfilling its quota obligation through a substantial investment in wind energy, proposing to place some 45 wind turbines within its distribution area before 2001. A recently concluded study of economically and technically viable sites has identified three potential locations in the Zoeterwoude, Rijnwoude and Jacobswoude areas. According to EWR, proposals for Rijnwoude and Jacobswoude will each provide sites for 20 turbines while five more will be constructed in Zoeterwoude. Planning application is to begin shortly. According to Zoeterwoude local councillor, Henk van der Kooi, the Zoeterwoude project is almost certain to be granted planning permission. Elsewhere, the Utrecht utility, REMU, which had previously shown little interest in wind development, has set up a special division with responsibility for wind and has plans for a wind station in Nieuwegein, south west of Utrecht.

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