The NLVOW and Windalarm argued this week for a temporary shutdown of onshore wind turbines. In doing so, they join the now long line of people who do not want something. For a sustainable energy supply, however, we must do a lot. And we have to do that together. And that’s fine. Because in many regions there is constructive cooperation on wind projects.
The situation is quite clear. It has been agreed in the climate agreement that we will achieve a target of 35 Terrawatt hours (TWh) of wind and solar on land and 49 TWh of wind at sea. It is true that the target of 35 TWh on land is in sight. That’s great news. But with a catch. We do not achieve so many of our targets and meanwhile we consume more than less energy. So in that bulk that we are not achieving, there is now one that we are going to achieve. Instead of sticking out the flag, opponents seize it directly to put on the brakes. The argument is that we can get rid of the remaining task at sea. A lot is possible at sea, but there are also many other interests, of nature, shipping, sand extraction, defense and fishermen. It is clear that the members of NLVOW and Windalarm do not want the windmills in their vicinity, but that does not mean that they can just go somewhere else.
Just to put it in perspective. In 2019, 8.6% of our energy was generated sustainably. The target for 2030 is therefore a good start. There is already an additional 30 TWh for industry before 2030 (+ 15 TWh for data centers). After 2030, there will be much more demand for sustainable electricity and green hydrogen from industry. And then we haven’t even mentioned additional targets from Europe, the switch to electric transport and the power needed to heat our homes with heat pumps. In short, the objectives of the Climate Agreement are by no means sufficient in the long term.
Onshore wind can make a valuable contribution to this. The potential is great and wind energy is the cheapest sustainable energy source. And yes, onshore wind has drawbacks. There are concerns about nuisance and health. That is why agreements have been made in the Climate Agreement about participation and financial ownership. These agreements are laid down in the code of conduct for onshore wind energy, co-signed by the NLVOW.
There are many enthusiastic citizens, farmers and companies everywhere who are working with wind energy (and other forms of sustainable energy). People who try to do this in good consultation with the environment. People who want something. Let’s give those people the space to realize great projects and thus contribute to the future sustainable energy supply in the Netherlands.