Wind sector crisis as government proposes axing tax breaks for green power

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Proposals by Holland's new right-wing libertarian government to scrap tax breaks on renewable energy have left the Dutch wind sector in a state of deep crisis. In an attempt to claw back EUR 500 million annually which flows to renewable energy and energy conservation, the new coalition -- comprising the centre right CDA, the right-wing VVD and libertarian-populist LPF parties -- has announced it intends taking an axe to the country's system of renewables support. Along with cutting tax breaks for investment in green projects, the coalition proposes to save some EUR 165 million a year by ending the tax break on green electricity which makes it possible to buy green power for the same price as "grey" power. An end to green power's tax exemption will increase the price to consumer by some 33%, believe analysts, and will effectively kill off the market which recently celebrated its one millionth customer. Should the proposed revocation of green power's ecotax exemption come into force it will almost certainly put an end to plans for offshore development. According to Kornelis Blok, professor at the University of Utrecht, offshore wind farms are "absolutely not feasible without a tax break." He questions how the Netherlands can meet its international obligations to reduce emissions from power generation without the use of renewable energy.

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