The importance of nature must weigh heavily in the construction of new offshore wind farms. That‘s what Minister Jetten of Climate and Energy says.
“When tendering wind farms, ecology must be a core part of the assessment,” said Jetten, who today paid a working visit to a large park off the coast of Zeeland.
Already 462 wind turbines are located off the Dutch coast. Up to 2030, at least 750 will be added and possibly more afterwards. In 2030, 70 percent of Dutch electricity consumption comes from wind and solar energy. More than half of that will come from offshore wind energy.
Piling and wicks
Jetten is about the consequences for marine life during construction. Fish and marine mammals, for example, can suffer from piling. But even if the mills are in operation, there can be consequences for animals such as birds and bats, which are hampered by the rotating blades.
Wind turbines in nature reserves are critical, but the parks are also necessary, right? Nieuwsuur made a report about this question:
By the way, a offshore wind farm also offers opportunities to life at sea, says researcher Josien Steenbergen of Wageningen University. “At the bottom of those parks, it is quiet, because there is no fishing. Oysters, for example, are given the peace and space to settle down.”
Steenbergen warns that the consequences of the construction of new parks are still under way. “There are now major research programs running, but at the same time it is starting to scale up. My fear is that we may be moving too fast, even though we don’t know how big the threats are yet.”
At the large wind farm near Borssele, where Jetten was today, experiments are currently being conducted with supporting marine life. With artificial reefs of concrete pipes, places have been created where cod and other large fish species thrive. The minister calls this “a very good example” of how it should be done. “We want to stimulate these kinds of new techniques en masse.”
Jetten further says that there are more and more data about the bird migration. This allows you to check whether a certain spot is suitable for wind turbines before construction. “Or you can rather think that you have to shut down the parks for a few days because there are a lot of birds arriving.”
Jetten on his work visit also said that companies that want to build a park do well to weigh the importance of the animals. “If they don‘t take it into account, they’re really less likely to win the tender.”