Netherlands – Cabinet pushes ahead with wind energy plant

The cabinet has decided to press ahead with its plan for a major wind farm near the town of Urk in the Noordoostpolder. Economic Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen and Environment Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen on Thursday formally presented the definitive plan for the wind farm, which will feature 86 wind turbines along the dyke to the north of Urk.

This summer, former economic affairs minister Maria Verhoeven scrapped seven wind turbines from the original plan after parliament asked her to take the protected view of the village of Urk into consideration

The Noordoostpolder wind farm – the Netherlands’ largest – is to produce 1.4 billion kilowatt-hours, sufficient for the energy needs of about 900,000 people. Minister Verhagen said the project fits perfectly with the cabinet’s energy policies. "The wind farm is a step on the road to affordable, reliable and clean energy. The Netherlands needs a sensible mix of wind power, natural gas, coal, biomass and nuclear energy. There are downsides to all forms of energy, including wind power."

Mr Verhagen argued that the cabinet has carefully weighed the various interests and has met the objections of the people of Urk wherever possible. "Which is why the seven wind turbines nearest the village were scrapped."