The Dutch government has high ambitions on sustainable energy. The target is 16% sustainable energy in 2020. Amongst others this means that we need 6000 MW wind energy on land. In a densely populated country like the Netherlands it is not easy to find suitable locations. Local support is essential but unfortunately not easy to accomplish. Wind developers and the national and provincial government have their eyes focussed on the island of Goeree-Overflakkee. A windy island in the Dutch delta, approximately 260 km2 and with about 48.000 inhabitants scarcely populated, according to Dutch standards. As a part of a provincial program to accelerate decision making in sustainable energy projects MWH was contracted to find a way to realise 260MW wind energy (approximately 80 large wind turbines) on the island. The realisation of large scale wind farms has a long history of local resistance (negative effects on living conditions, preserved nature areas and degradation of the landscape).
Location: Island of Goeree-Overflakkee, Netherlands
Region: Europe / Middle East / Africa
Market Sector: Energy & Power
Status: In Progress
For all parties involved it was very important to avoid local conflicts although we all know that there are serious differences in interests. So we realised that large scale wind energy could only be successful if the island could share in the profits. Put in motion by MWH, wind energy was made a part of a larger program to make the island more sustainable. That program consisted not only of wind energy projects but also biomass, PV and an experimental tidal energy plant. The program also provides the establishment of a special fund (filled by revenues of wind farming) to support local sustainable initiatives. Also the wind turbines could make a sound business case for an integral local development that otherwise would not have been realised. And last but not least people can participate in the exploration of the wind farms. In this way we let the island benefit from the wind farms. Of course it does not compensate the impact of the wind farms but it makes it more acceptable. Our role was to negotiate agreements with local municipalities, the national government and several private wind development companies as well as local initiatives. At the moment of writing several agreements have been signed, joint research has started and the public discussion is initiated. We still have a long way to go but the start is promising. MWH provides an independent process manager highly appreciated by all parties. They all realize that this is still a delicate balance, but a promising balance.
- Signed agreements between public and private parties on 260 MW wind farms
- Joint surveys on the local and regional impacts of proposed wind farms
- Process management
- Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment
- Island of Goeree-Overflakkee, Netherlands
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