New islands could solve climate problems

An artificial island in the North Sea to house wind and fish farms and a new residential peninsula off the Dutch coast are two of several prestige projects showing off Holland’s engineering skills to get prime ministerial backing.

Jan Peter Balkenende told a conference on Monday that the Netherlands ‘needs to think big’ to boost the country’s international reputation in terms of water engineering projects.
Around one-quarter of the Netherlands lies below sea-level and the country has a long history of land reclamation and fighting floods.
The projects were put forward by the government think-tank Innovation Platform which is charged with developing innovative ideas. Some 80 companies attended the conference to discuss the plans.
The organisation is promoting four ‘high value, innovative’ ideas for future study. One involves the development of an island which could be used for both wind and fish farms as well as hydro-electric power. ‘It is both technically and financially feasible,’ conference chairman Hans de Boer said.
Another project involves creating a peninsula stretching into the North Sea close to The Hague which will provide space for at least 10,000 homes and a nature reserve. This project will also protect the coast against erosion and the effect of climate change, the organisation says.
The conference also supports plans to use the Afsluitdijk dam in the IJsselmeer to create a lake within a lake and a wind farm as well as developments in the Zeeland delta estuary area.
The platform hit the headlines last year with plans to develop a massive tulip-shaped island off the coast. That project was regarded by many delegates as too ambitious, the Financieele Dagblad said on Tuesday.

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