Massive offshore wind farms in the pipeline

The government is planning to erect an estimated 2,000 windmills in four areas of the North Sea by 2020, reports the Volkskrant on Friday.

In total they will provide 6,000 megawatts of wind energy – the same as six big coal-fired power stations.
The information comes from a draft version of the Waterplan, a report written by various ministries in which the Dutch part of the North Sea is allocated to different uses. The Volkskrant has obtained part of this report, which will be debated by the cabinet next Friday.
Two of the areas, off the coast of Walcheren island in Zeeland and IJmuiden in Noord Holland, have been definitely earmarked for wind farms. The other two have yet to be announced. In total, the offshore wind farms will cover over 1,000 square km.
Several ministries are involved in the Waterplan because shipping, fishing, oil and gas drilling, defence and the natural environment all have to be taken into account, says the Volkskrant.
Wild West
The reactions to the plan are positive, says the paper, although the decision-making process is seen as too slow. Gijs van Kuik of the wind energy institute in Delft told the paper it was a step in the right direction. ‘It was like the wild west, with 77 requests for wind farms all over the place,’ he said. ‘It is much better to indicate where they will be.’
Mirjam de Rijk of Nature and Environment told the Volkskrant that the government must now put aside money to ensure that the turbines actually get built.

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