Saturday 28 May 2022

Wind farm projects face delays after court orders more environmental research


The construction of a number of wind farms in the Netherlands will be delayed following a Council of State ruling which ordered more research into the environmental impact of a project in Groningen.

Junior environment minister Dilan Yesilgöz has told MPs in a briefing that 20 to 25 projects currently still at the planning stage could be delayed by the ruling. Together, they will produce enough electricity for 500,000 homes, the minister said.

The Council of State, which is the country’s highest administrative court, said in June that a wind farm in Delfzijl involving 16 turbines could not be built pending further research into the likely impact of the noise and the shadows cast by the turbine arms.

The permit for the wind farm was granted without this extra research, which should have been carried out under European law.

This means dozens of other projects will also now involve an environmental assessment which includes, for example, the likely impact on the health of people living nearby.

‘There are indeed problems,’ Rik Harmsen, spokesman for the Dutch wind energy association NWEA, told broadcaster NOS. ‘We expect 10% of the projects now at the preparation stage will be hit by this Council of State ruling.’

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