BLOW covenant signed for new 2010 target for wind power

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In an effort to tackle the serious wind power development lag in the Netherlands a new national covenant was agreed between all levels of the Dutch government in July for a minimum of 1500 MW of onshore-wind capacity by 2010. Known by its acronym, BLOW, the covenant replaces a 1991 agreement between government and the seven windiest provinces to build 1000 MW by 2000. To date less than half that has been achieved, largely because the agreement failed to involve local government, the economics ministry believes. This time the association of local councils (VNG) has been made party to the agreement along with the provincial governments and the ministries of economics, environment, agriculture, transport and defence. Under BLOW, the ministries will be charged with identifying suitable sites. If not enough are found, the country's provinces will be expected to nominate sites in 2005. This time, too, all provinces have minimum targets for which they are prepared to stand guarantee.

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