Provincial governor campaigns for big wind plant

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A campaign which could result in two to three super wind stations being built in Brabant is being spearheaded by the province's governor for economic affairs and renewable energy, Onno Hoes. Although people recognise the importance of producing more renewable energy, finding local communities in Brabant that will accept wind turbines is a problem, says Hoes' spokesperson, Sonija van der Graaf. Rather than wind turbines dotted all over the countryside, the province wants to see groups of 20 or more -- as visually pleasing landmarks. Hoes is no longer prepared to wait for the local community to come forward with ideas for sites and is actively going to seek them out. The plan is to have earmarked possible sites for wind turbines by the summer. "It takes a lot of effort and it is a very ambitious plan," says Van der Graaf. Even without super wind stations, Brabant will achieve its wind power target of 115 MW by 2010. Currently there are around 55 turbines in the province. Central planning for wind development has previously been tried by the province of Utrecht, but failed. "Top-down planning does not work, we have known that for 20 years," says Jaap Langenbach of Wind Service Holland, a consultant company. But for the moment Brabant seems undeterred.

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