Expert pool to advise Dutch planners on setting up wind plant

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Red tape and a high population density are commonly cited as the main obstacles frustrating wind energy penetration in the Netherlands. This summer saw the launch of two initiatives designed to deal with these problems. To cut development costs and help simplify the planning and permitting process, the economics ministry has joined forces with government renewable energy agency NOVEM to set up an "expert pool." Its members will help local and regional councils negotiate all aspects of the complex procedures involved in getting a new wind farm up and running in the Netherlands populous landscape. The central unit, which can be accessed through the national renewables agency, will provide expertise in the legal, planning, management and process supervision aspects of wind project development. The expertise will be attractively priced at half the cost of normal consultation fees for the first ten days of the experts' time and it is hoped this one-stop wind shop will help local councils find the optimum sites, thus minimising local resistance to new projects.

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