Netherlands

Netherlands

DUTCH GOVERNMENT REDUCES ENERGY SUBSIDIES

The new Dutch government, in power since August, is to reduce energy subsidies over the next four years, starting with a NLG 50 million cut in the coming financial year. By 1998, subsidies will have been reduced by NLG 300 million compared with today's level. So far the 1995 budget retains wind energy's current funding at NLG 35 million, but it is by no means certain that this sum will reach the wind power programme. According to the new minister of Economic Affairs, Gerard Wyers, the energy budget was, largely prepared by his predecessor, Koos Andriessen, but a series of changes will be made to it during this month, before the budget is debated in parliament. The changes have not been made before because of lack of time, he claims. Even though applications to the Dutch wind programme, which subsidises wind turbines by up to 35% of their cost, have outnumbered the money available each year, there is no guarantee the wind budget will be spared from the new government's knife.

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