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Dutch economic affairs minister, Hans Wijers, last month published his long awaited White Paper on Energy. Wind, solar and biomass receive a deal of attention, with an official goal that they should meet 10% of energy demand by 2020. By 2050 Wijers expects renewables to supply 30-50% of Dutch energy demand. To meet these aims, he plans to stimulate investment in renewables by a friendly tax regime, including tax exemption for "green funds" (page 17). In 2000 these tax measures should be costing the state some NLG 175 million. In addition, spending by government on renewables R&D is to rise from DFL 50 million in 1996 to DFL 85 million in 2000. Just over a year ago Wijers -- in the same ministerial post -- announced drastic cutbacks in energy research and development spending.

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