New tariff agreed between utilities and owners

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Following the breakdown of national negotiations on a 1997 wind power tariff for output from privately owned wind turbines of less than 2 MW, Dutch utility NUON and PAWEX, the wind turbine owners association, have closed a deal which sets the rate at NLG 0.163/kWh -- the same as 1996. The deal was reached on the assumption that a government proposed rebate scheme -- allowing investment in wind to be written off against tax -- provided no financial advantage to private owners. A tariff agreement has also been reached for output from wind plants of 2-5 MW. The rate here is dependent on the regional energy content of the wind and varies between NLG 0.11 and NLG 0.16 a kilowatt hour. Private owners within the NUON area, which covers Flevoland, Gelderland and Friesland, will also be offered the opportunity of signing a ten year contract. This unilateral action by NUON is further evidence of the company's commitment to the development of wind power in the Netherlands. The company aims to acquire 5% of its electricity from renewable resources by the year 2000. Private turbine owners are expected to contribute some 100 million kWh to that target -- sufficient power to meet the needs of a medium sized city such as Leeuwarden.

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