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Netherlands

Netherlands

PAYMENTS DROP

In the Netherlands several utilities have lowered their payments for wind, making wind turbine operation no longer economically feasible. The country's wind turbine owners association, Pawex, is still negotiating a tariff structure with EnergieNed, the organisation of electricity distribution companies. The negotiations are being mediated by the ministry of Economic Affairs, which makes the whole process a delicate matter. The ministry has axed subsidies to wind from the end of 1995.

Wind energy development in the Netherlands slowly grinds to a halt and the Dutch wind industry, as a result, loses its footing both at home and abroad. This is the picture of doom being painted by Ernst van Zuylen, the president of Holland's wind turbine owners association, Pawex, now that utility wind payments are on the way down.

Since the beginning of the year, EDON in Groningen says it will only pay NLG 0.11/kWh for wind power from new projects, one cent less than previously. Nuon, in the province of Flevoland, is offering NLG 0.12/kWh, a reduction of three cents. At these prices, wind energy is no longer economically feasible, EDON admits.

The situation in Noord Holland is even worse. Distribution company PEN says that for projects larger than 600 kW it will base its kWh payment on the standard tariff -- less than NLG 0.08/kWh. Anything more has to be negotiated.

While the trend in wind payments is downwards, Pawex is negotiating again with EnergieNed, the organisation of electricity distribution companies. Negotiations are mediated through the ministry of Economic Affairs, an indirect partner in the process. A first proposal, details of which have not been revealed, has been turned down by EnergieNed. Not so much because of the actual content of the proposal, but because EnergieNed is still angry that the ministry has axed subsidies to wind from the end of this year (Windpower Monthly, November 1994).

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