Asked by Douwe Monsma,
Chairman, Windmolenvereniging (Wind Turbine Association) De Zuidlob.
How is Nuon creating social support for on-shore wind energy?
Most people in the Netherlands like the idea of wind energy. But, few want a wind farm in their own back garden or spoiling their views. Consulting with all the stakeholders is therefore essential.
Building a wind farm requires support from every stakeholder: national and local politicians, social organisations and local residents. Nuon endeavours to have an open and direct relationship with everyone. The chance of practical solutions that are widely supported is greater if we involve our stakeholders directly at an early stage of a project and if we come to specific agreements.
Success and efficiency of a project requires regularly consulting with all the stakeholders. We work on creating solutions together, plan working-visits from local and national political delegations, consult with (client) panels and inform local residents.
Wind farm De Zuidlob
An example of successful communication is the building of the wind farm, De Zuidlob in the province Flevoland; the largest wind farm on land in the Netherlands. Intense cooperation between the local residents, the farmers who initiated the wind farm, the Zeewolde municipality, the province of Flevoland, the government and Nuon made it possible to develop the wind farm quickly.
Wind energy is the future, but generating electricity on a wind farm is still more expensive than conventional ways of generating electricity. Therefore, (financial) support from the government is required to make the investment profitable. Also when requesting a suitable location or to ensure that the wind farm blends in with the landscape. It is especially important that the initiator and the government work closely together to create joint acceptance and support. This is essential if the Netherlands plans to achieve 14% sustainable energy by 2020.