Politics struggles with protests against windmills: ‘Only with support local residents’

Politics will only build wind turbines and solar parks on the land if there is also support for the local residents. The electoral programmes of the various parties show that a majority wants to prevent them from being built against the will of the citizens. But how do you get local residents along? Some parties want them to take advantage of it financially.

In recent years, citizens are increasingly hoped against the wind turbines and fields full of solar panels that they believe are ugly and inconveniencing. However, in order to achieve the climate targets, these sustainable forms of energy generation are needed, a majority of politics believes. It is not for nothing that the climate agreement agreed that CO2 emissions should be reduced by 45% in the coming years.

Preferably at sea

To achieve this, the VVD, like other parties, prefers to build only large-scale wind farms at sea. Solar panels should be built mainly on roofs, not on the ground. โ€œBuilding solar farms and wind turbines on land is a prerequisite for creating and gaining support among the local populationโ€, states in the electoral program of the Liberals.

The CDA also believes that the immediate surroundings should always be consulted before a wind turbine or solar farm is built. Nature and agricultural land must be protected as far as possible.

D66, ChristenUnie and the Party for the Animals also believe that sustainable energy projects on land should be carried out carefully and in consultation with residents and that they should not be hindered by them. For the Animals Party, this applies not only to humans, but also to animals. Birds regularly fly against the blades of wind turbines.

Shares

GroenLinks chooses a slightly different approach. The party wants to stimulate support for local residents by giving them shares in public projects for wind or solar energy. If local entrepreneurs or residents want to generate energy with each other, they get cheap loans and have to meet less stringent requirements.

โ€œ We don‘t get there with just wind energy at sea,โ€ says leader Jesse Klaver, โ€œyou have to be that honest.โ€ He understands that people, even in his own constituents, are not happy when a wind farm is being built in their neighborhood.

โ€œ Now companies that invest in these windmills are receiving subsidies. They get a lot of profit out of it and the locals often get nothing at all. I don’t think that‘s acceptable. If you live near a windmill, you need to be able to participate and benefit from it financially.โ€

Also in Zoeterwoude windmills are the subject of discussion:

D66 also thinks that the support base for greening can be increased by allowing local residents to benefit. MP Rob Jetten wants at least 50 percent of the windmills and sunbathing pastures to be owned by local residents.

Houses instead of windmills

List puller Geert Wilders of the PVV believes that Dutch people get the windmills โ€œpushed down the throatโ€. โ€œThe value of your house goes down if you have such an ugly thing next to you.โ€ According to Wilders, the whole climate discussion costs us โ€œmoneyโ€ and the whole problem is drawny exaggerated. โ€œWherever there are windmills, they should build houses. We don’t need windmills, we need houses,โ€ says Wilders.

Forum for Democracy also wants to stop placing subsidized windmills and solar parks. But when Forum was able to join Noord-Brabant, the party soon resigned to the arrival of a new wind farm.