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Dutch Offshore Wind Turbines Too Expensive, Government Cuts Subsidies

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The Dutch don’t like wind turbines anymore. They built 36 offshore wind turbines back in 2006, and had great hopes for them, but now the Dutch government realized they don’t have money to subsidize the 18 cents per kilowatt they did so far, so they’ll cut those subsidies down to 9 to 15 cents, and the rest will be supported by consumers.

The 36 offshore wind turbines built back then are spread off the Northern Sea and provide enough power for at least 100,000 homes. One of the main reasons behind the subsidy cut is that it cost 4.5 billion euros last year and that the maintenance for such wind turbines is also very expensive, at least in a short term analysis.

But the Dutch also have onshore turbines, that have been traditionally associated with their nation. Let’s not forget wind power has historically been the force that put The Netherlands together. Before using it, the country had been spread on numerous islands, and the turbines had been used to dry the swamps in between, making the land arable.

Now most of the Dutch people don’t want wind farms in or near their backyards, for the reason that they ruin the landscape, they create noise or that they pose a danger to their households. They even sued wind farm owners over these reasons and keep them from expanding the country’s renewable energy portfolio.

“If we have wind turbines here this old picture will be destroyed,” Jaap Kroon, mayor of Urk, told Reuters. “We are also concerned about the safety and noise.”

These are stupid reasons, if you ask me. Had someone come to them and proposed building a nuclear power plant or digging for coal or oil, what would they have said? “Yes, drill as much as you want, as long as there’s no noise coming from the wells”?

People should stop worrying about the immediate effects of wind turbines – they’ll eventually get used to the “unbearable” noise and the “ugliness” of the landscape. I personally like how wind turbines look, I think (and one can call me naive) they’re saying much about how those people use the natural resources and how they care about their children’s future.

The extraction of oil uses much more energy and money than building offshore wind turbines, but those hidden costs are paid happily at the gas station, since they’re transparent to the consumer. One offshore oil rig also produces a lot more CO2 than a country’s entire wind industry, so let’s not complain about those wanting to invest in clean energy development.

 

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