Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Got as far as chapter 4. I should have stuck with the summary - there is little to no extra development than the presently standing policies on solar and geothermal as far as I can see. Just more promises to work on a new plan for development etc.

Particularly the plans on onshore wind are even more feeble than I previously thought - and have me concerned that authorities will push wind projects through. While the accord has pretty words on communal involvement - it has no hard guarantees. I should return a last time to check for the ideas on subsidies and taxation.

I'm not the only one (also Dutch) who has a lacklustre response to this accord.

by Bjinse on Fri Aug 30th, 2013 at 06:47:15 AM EST
concerned that authorities will push wind projects through

Why the authorities? AFAIK the government doesn't build wind farms in its own, while the certificates support system (in which the level of build-up is dictated by government targets) was ended in 2003, and currently there is a feed-in premium system (where the minimum level of buildup depends on investor willingness alone). Who are the typical on-shore wind investors in the Netherlands? Or is this a concern about zoning laws?

On this, in the diary, you wrote:

There is an increasing groundswell carried by provinces, counties and citizens against building more wind on land.

Could you detail that? With this description, it could be anything from a loud 10% to a 90% silent majority, and anything from something that is more smoke than fire through a successful campaign by a coalition of astroturfers and ideological opponents like in Britain or an accumulation of typical local issues to (and this would be the interesting part) severe problems special to the shape of the sector in the Netherlands.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Aug 30th, 2013 at 11:06:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A detailed answer to your questions would require another diary - but the summary is that it deals with complex legalistic issues, some of which still in the pipeline and which I have tracked previously on other issues. There's a large new law in development in The Hague that specifically deals with the use of public space and building developments, and zoning laws form part and parcel of this.

To wind back a bit, the final Balkenende government already introduced new regulation to overrule legal challenges on the local and municipality level when it concerns building developments, with the result that developers can ride more easily across local concerns.

These regulations are now integrated, and extended, in the new law still under wraps.

Let me put it this way: I'm seriously concerned how the upcoming legal framework will deal with the checks and balances to address new developments in the public space - and note, that's not just wind mills. This goes for the authorities at all levels - municipalities, provinces, water boards and national.

Yet specifically for wind projects, even currently the state and provinces already are able to overrule local challenges when it concerns wind park projects that have a capacity larger than 5 MW. For wind parks larger than 100 MW even provinces are left legally toothless. Last year, the government more or less appointed 11 locations for large wind parks, which have now resulted in officially lodged protests from citizens, companies and a multitude of local authorities. In case someone enjoys that sort of thing, they can be located at this site.

In an aside, the Central Planning Bureau, which forms the government's principal guiding bureau, has recently cautioned to halt building wind on land for at least the next 5 years due to present overcapacity.

While most agencies stress that local inclusion and participation form the best pathway to reduce local resistance and engender understanding to wind - the standing framework applies a top-down approach fitted to antagonize and ignore the local level, both citizens and local authorities. This does not mean that municipalities are without suspicion - altering zoning laws for development is a primary milking cow for municipalities and plenty of them are in debt due to the economic slump.

The phrasing plied in the energy accord does nothing to assuage the concerns and suspicions I have with respect to the current regulations or the newly developed law on public space.

That's all I can currently write for the moment, will be offline for some time.

by Bjinse on Sat Aug 31st, 2013 at 06:42:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can readily imagine that local conflicts about windpower are significant in the country with the hoighest population density in europe.

On the other hand there is a lot of onshore windpower in the neighbouring german state of Lower Saxony, especially in the north west.

I don't see any reason why the same results can't be gained in the eastern Netherlands. What is good for the Emden region can't be wrong for the Groningen region.

by IM on Fri Aug 30th, 2013 at 02:11:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The issue for wind in the NL, as I see it, is that the support regime (in the form of a contract for differences, ie a public body pays the difference between the market price and an agreed fixed level, with various limits) is paid for our of the budget, ie the gross cost of it appears as a direct subsidy, paid for by taxpayers, and thus highly visible.

The merit order effect is not very visible when the market is driven by what happens in France and Germany anyway, but the cost is - and thus it becomes a political football.

Wind power

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Aug 31st, 2013 at 12:52:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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