Netherlands

Netherlands

SOME SURPRISES IN SUBSIDY ALLOCATIONS

Of the 54 projects selected for 1994 subsidy allocations in the Netherlands not one uses turbines from Nedwind. Danish and Belgian manufactures are the most frequently used. The EDON/Kenetech project, which is among the winners, has been criticised for delays. EDON/Kenetech claim that the delays have nothing to do with the reported problems with the Kenetech 33M-VS turbines. The delay is mainly due to problems regarding site leasing.

Fifty-four wind projects -- amounting to nearly 50 MW of installed capacity -- have been selected in the 1994 round of subsidy allocations in the Netherlands. Of 80 applications, 54 have been granted, says NOVEM, the government agency responsible for administration of the wind subsidy programme.

Projects receive subsidy based on a formula using square metres of rotor swept area, up to a maximum of 35% of the total investment sum. NOVEM says it has awarded NLG 35 million, corresponding to 48 MW of installed capacity.

NOVEM does not publish details of the selected projects, but by matching installed capacity and each project's destination province, Jaap Langenbach from the Organisation of Sustainable Energy (ODE) has been able to compile a list of winners. The list contains a shock for the home industry. Not one project using wind turbines from Nedwind has been selected for subsidy.

The biggest chunk, NLG 18 million, goes to a proposed 25 MW wind farm in Groningen, a joint venture between distribution utility EDON and Kenetech of California. The second largest amount goes to projects using wind turbines from Danish manufacturer Bonus, imported by Lagerwey, a manufacturer of smaller wind turbines in the Netherlands. These projects are closely followed by developments using WindMaster turbines from either the Belgian company or its Dutch subsidiary. They get 30% of the total subsidy amount each. Danish manufacturer Micon gets an 18% slice of the cake, Dutch Lagerwey gets 7% for its own turbine, with a similar sized share going to the German subsidiary of Danish Nordtank and to Vestas of Denmark.

Some of the unsuccessful applicants have objected to the subsidy for the EDON/Kenetech project on the grounds that it is not as far advanced as their schemes because of delays. Subsidy regulations require selections to be made based on projects most likely to go ahead. Bob Jans from Kenetech admits there has been a delay in the project, connected mainly with leasing or buying sites for turbines. Sites for about half of the around 70 turbines have been obtained, but negotiations with farmers are still continuing for the remainder. Kenetech expects these to be complete by the end of the year. Formal government approval of the project is expected by the end of November, or beginning of December.

Jans emphasises that the reported problems with the Kenetech 33M-VS turbine for the Groningen project (Windpower Monthly, September 1994) has not hampered its development. The Dutch certification institute CIWI has certified the 33M-VS turbine and was made fully aware of problems encountered in the US, says Jans. Neither did NOVEM express concern about the machine, he adds.

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