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The province of Noord-Holland is apparently having such problems meeting its 250 MW commitment to the government's national wind target that deputy Gerard de Boer, responsible for energy and environment, is being driven to desperate measures. On December 12 he announced he was opting out of the plan. "If we don't, we give the impression that we are seriously trying to develop wind energy in our province," he said. "It is more honest to admit that that ambition is doomed to fail." But, two months later, an official statement about opting out has yet to be made. According to Jeannette van Beusekom, speaking for the province, a statement is expected this month, though, after the elections. What its content will be remains unknown, but Noord-Holland will definitely not renege on its agreement, she says. De Boer's desperation stems from the fact that only a handful of wind turbines have gone up in the province, with further development blocked by public outcry. Power distribution company, PEN, which owns the first offshore wind park in the IJsselmeer, had tried to help by proposing a wind plant on a sand bank near Den Helder, well away from potential objectors. But the plan was withdrawn when the sand bank showed signs of suddenly becoming an area of natural beauty.

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