Municipalities have hope for wind power

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The National Union of Norwegian Wind Power Municipalities (LNVK), a trade body and pressure group formed last year by a score of local authorities along Norway's west coast, has celebrated its first few months of existence with a gust of breezy optimism, including predictions that the government target for wind power of 3 TWh could be exceeded long before the target date of 2010. Gunn Karin Gjul, a member of the parliamentary energy committee and of the ruling Labour Party, told LNVK's first national meeting: "The potential for wind power is perhaps three to four times greater than we are planning for today. We have reached a crossroads in Norwegian energy policy. Hydropower's day is as good as past, and it is clear that the energy of the future will come from renewables." Wind needs subsidies for a "transition period," she added; but technology is developing so rapidly that profitability is probable.

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