Guidelines for a long awaited new action plan for wind energy in Denmark were released by energy and environment minister Svend Auken on November 8. The main thrust of the plan is to transfer most of the responsibility for further development of wind energy from private citizens to the utilities. According to the guidelines, utilities are to install 70-78% of all new turbines up to 2005. The government's aim is for installation of 80-100 MW of new wind power a year, but the rate of development in recent years has been just 30-50 MW, an amount Auken describes as "unacceptably low." To speed up development Auken will require the utilities to build a specific amount of wind power both onshore and offshore; zoning plans prepared by regional authorities to identify wind farm sites will be followed up on; regulations which place restrictions on ownership of wind plant by private citizens will be simplified; the government will lance an information campaign about the advantages of wind energy; and a special effort will be made to identify sites in industrial areas for large wind turbines of 1-2 MW. Though welcoming the plan, Flemming Tranæs of the Danish Wind Turbine Owners Association is sceptical about its effect. He points out that it has taken ten years for the utilities to install just 170 MW of the first 200 MW required of them. He feels it is unlikely they will be able to develop a further 650-900 MW over the next ten years.
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