Subsidy bonus boosts end of year development total

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Dutch wind energy ended 1993 on a positive note. At the last minute, the Economic Affairs Ministry added NLG 10.5 million to its budget for 1993 wind project subsidies, increasing the total available from NLG 35 million to NLG 40.5 million ($24 million). The new total means that subsidies are available for construction of 59.7 MW, up 15.8 MW on the previously reported 43.9 MW.

Despite the subsidies available, wind development has been slow in the Netherlands. In an attempt to speed things up, all subsidy applicants were asked in April to agree to a stringent selection criteria which favoured projects in an advanced stage of preparation. Only a few very large projects would have been granted subsidy if cost and other criteria were used instead.

Of the 59.7 MW now in line for development, 15.2 MW is to be installed by the private sector and 21.25 MW by utilities. The largest chunk, 23.25 MW, will be developed jointly by public and private joint ventures.

Geographically, the windy province of Friesland will get most wind turbines -- 44% of those subsidised, or 26 MW. Surprising runner-up is the polder province of Flevoland with 20.5 MW, thanks to a 16 MW project by the PEB/PGEM utility using large WindMaster turbines. Turbines from the other large turbine manufacturer in the Netherlands, NedWind, were selected for all other projects using wind turbines of 500 kW and above, amounting to 22.5 MW. For projects using machines under 100 kW, Lagerwey is the only supplier with expected orders for 4.8 MW. Micon of Denmark took 80% of the 13.5 MW of 250 kW machines and Nordtank, again from Denmark and the only other foreign beneficiary, was represented with three, 300 kW turbines.

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