Successful information evening Vindmøller

WASPIK – The information evening in Den Bolder on Monday 16 January, organized by the Waspik Platform’s working group for sustainable energy, was a success. With more than 60 visitors, both the organization and the presenters were very satisfied.

The visitors were welcomed by Pieter van Dongen, member of the working group. He also outlined the program and then kept the schedule very well. But also one of the requirements to make such an evening a success.

Kees van Gorp, chairman of the Platform, was the first to take the opportunity to announce the work of the Platform and, more importantly, to call for volunteers to sign up. Many visitors were impressed by the long list of activities that the platform runs. Then the biggest topic was discussed: possible location of wind turbines north of the A59.

After an excellent explanation of the process to be followed for the possible location of wind turbines by Hans Kursten from the municipality of Waalwijk, Ronald Kloet from the Renewable Factory took the floor. Renewable Factory is a so-called initiator that is entitled to lead the construction of wind turbines. In order to ensure that those who are ‘disturbed’ by the wind turbines are compensated, filling in the local ownership is a requirement. And as Ilse van den Meijdenberg later explicitly stated, this is also important for possibly setting up a fund in which the proceeds from the (minimum) 50% ownership of the wind turbines can be placed. Through that fund, possibly managed by a separate fund, the surplus can be used for, for example, further sustainability or social projects. Ronald further clarified that in case of nuisance due to shadow casting, the turbines can be stopped because the computers that control the turbines contain all the data to be able to do this automatically. He did not hide the fact that, for example, noise can be a nuisance, but also pointed to the possibilities of limiting this as much as possible.

After the much-needed break, Ilse, mentioned above, took the floor. She explained in detail what Energie Gezond Waalwijk stands for and that they have a collaboration with Falck Energie, also an initiator. Energie Gezond Waalwijk defends the interests of local residents and has e.g. was important in the final determination that wind turbines must remain at least 750 meters from the core. Their motto ‘Don’t just complain, but also think along and participate’ suited the character of this evening exactly.

The next speaker was Albert Pols from Langstraat Energie. Like Energie Gezond Waalwijk, Langstraat Energie is a cooperative. Albert outlined how the solar park project progressed and what is involved in such a project, which certainly has parallels to a wind turbine project. Albert also indicated that local ownership is important and that for him 50% ownership is the lower limit. There are opportunities for external funding that can increase that percentage. Langstraat Energie has all necessary documents ‘on the shelf’. When setting up or joining a cooperative that must manage local property, this can be used, and it is therefore not necessary to reinvent the wheel yourself. We also heard that the investors in the solar park have a nice return. This can therefore also benefit investors in wind energy. This aside.

Almost all questions in the question round were for Hans Kursten from the municipality of Waalwijk. The questions were mainly about process and rules regarding noise and distance from wind turbines to homes or cores. Those questions could be satisfactorily answered, although it sometimes seems unsatisfactory if one can/must say that ‘if you comply with the authorities’ rules, you will do well’. Of course, the development that e.g. may affect regulation with regard to health aspects. It is important that the residents sign up for the digital newsletter and follow the development of the project closely and, where possible, come and have their say. This will soon be possible again at the information meetings organized by the municipality.

Eric de Jong, program manager for Energy Transition, from the municipality of Waalwijk was announced as the final speaker. Eric was given the opportunity to announce that two workshops will soon be held with the underlying theme of ‘getting rid of gas’. The first steps that can be taken in that process are mainly aimed at limiting energy consumption through e.g. insulation. He invited the visitors to participate in the first workshop on Monday 13 February in Den Bolder. In continuation of this topic, visitors received a flyer that described no less than 24 tips for a lower energy bill, more comfort and a better environment. A good start to better energy consumption and a nice end to this successful informative evening.

The PDFs of the presentations from this evening can be found at www.platformwaspik.nl.

Working group for sustainable energy
Platform Waspik
[email protected]

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