Netherlands

Netherlands

DECIDED TO LIMIT THE CAPACITY

Popular resistance to large scale wind farms has resulted in the province of Friesland wanting to reduce the amount of installed capacity earmarked for its land area. In a covenant with the Dutch national government Friesland had agreed to find room for 200 MW of installed capacity, a fifth of the planned total of 1000 MW in the year 2000. But the province recently decided to limit the capacity to 50 MW. When a member of the Dutch parliament, Tineke Witteveen, demanded an explanation of the province's arbitrary behaviour from the minister of planning, Margreet de Boer, she explained that the province had told her the 50 MW limit was only temporary. When this capacity is reached, the province said it would reconsider its provisional ceiling. Friesland now has an installed capacity of about 25 MW. The decision to implement a 50 MW cap follows four months of heated debate on provincial plans for fulfiling the 200 MW promise. The largest amount of this capacity, some 135 MW, would be concentrated in large wind farms lining the coast of Friesland. But the people of Friesland were strongly against turning the coastline of the Waddensea, an international area of natural beauty, into a pincushion for wind turbines. Almost 500 written objections reached the government, whereupon it decided that large wind farms would only be permitted on the huge Afsluitdijk, which keeps the North Sea out of the IJsselmeer, and near Het Bildt.

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