Farmers, land owners benefit from high ground rent for wind turbines

Wind energy is unnecessarily expensive because of the very high ground rents charged by farmers and land owners, according to research by Nos television.

Charges for renting the land on which wind farms are built is up to 10 times that of coal-fired power stations, Nos says. The broadcaster bases its claims on official government development land prices.

Wind turbine owners pay private land owners between €35,000 and €50,000 ground rent a year per turbine for contracts of between 15 and 20 years, Nos says. This takes the total ground rent over the full contract to around €1m.

Subsidies

GroenLinks parliamentarian Liesbeth van Tongeren has asked the government to explain why such high prices can be justified. She says millions of euros in government subsidies are disappearing into the pockets of land owners, forcing up the price of wind energy.

MPs are due to debate the government’s wind energy plans later on Thursday. Ministers want to triple wind energy production on land and offshore in order to meet green energy targets.

Currently just 4% of Dutch energy comes from sustainable sources but this should increase to 16% by 2023.

Meanwhile, new figures show the amount of solar power generated in the Netherlands by companies and private households has almost doubled over the past year, news agency ANP reports.

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