February 11, 2011
Somebody in Europe is showing some sense. After watching Spain and France pile up huge deficits without generating any energy with their “feed-in tariffs,” Holland has dumped the whole renewables strategy and announced it will go nuclear.
“In a radical change of policy, the Netherlands is reducing its targets for renewable energy and slashing the subsidies for wind and solar power,” reports The Register, a British newspaper. “It’s also given the green light for the country’s first new nuclear power plants for almost 40 years.”
The Financial Times Deutschland edition reports the Dutch will slash wind and solar subsidies from $4 billion euros annually to $1.5 billion. The decision is not surprising after Electricitie de France found itself losing $1 billion euro a year on a similar program. The feed-in tariff was suspended in December and EDF’s finances have been damaged by the project.â€¨â€¨Holland’s only nuclear reactor, the Borssele plant, opened in 1973, was earmarked for closure by 2003. In 2006 the plant was allowed to operate until 2034, and the following year the government abandoned its opposition to new nuclear plants.
Holland thus becomes the first European country to abandon the goal of 20 percent renewables. The decision does not abandon the goal of reducing carbon emissions, however, since nuclear will more than make up the difference.
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