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Netherlands

Netherlands

PUBLIC HEARING ON SITING OF 200 MW WIND POWER

A public hearing into the siting of 200 MW of wind power in the province of Friesland attracted some 150 people to Leeuwarden last month -- many of whom had few kind words for wind turbines. One objector said they gave her nightmares, while artist Geurt Busser, who uses the Wadden Sea as a subject for his paintings, said a coastline full of wind turbines would turn it into a "rattling house party," according to the local newspaper, the Leeuwarder Courant. The province is committed to finding sites for one fifth of all the installed wind capacity planned for the Netherlands by 2000. So far it has proposed placing 135 MW along the Frisian section of the Afsluitdijk and on the dikes of the Wadden Sea to concentrate the turbines in one region. But protests are many. Among the objectors are the local government of Dongeradeel, which fears that its plans for expanding tourism are about to go up in smoke, and the Environmental Federation. While it is not against wind energy, a massive row of wind turbines along an area of natural beauty is just too much. An alternative, says the federation, would be to concentrate the plant further inland alongside the former coastline north of Leeuwarden. Suggestions and protests are welcomed by up until March 1, but a decision will be made by the summer, says Siem Janssen from the provincial authority.

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