No wind farms in Natura 2000 area Veluwe and limited in surrounding area

No wind farms are to be built in the Veluwe nature reserve and 1 km around it in the coming years. This was reported by the province of Gelderland earlier this week.

This restriction is to prevent further deterioration of nature. By focusing on nature restoration and innovative solutions such as camera detection for wind turbines, more wind farms may be built in the 1-8 km zone in the future.

Strong, resilient nature and sustainable energy difficult combination on the Veluwe

Nature on the Veluwe, the unique and largest Dutch nature reserve, is in bad shape. While recovery work is underway, at the same time, a lot of sustainable solar and wind energy is needed. The Veluwe is a large area surrounded by highways. Along these highways, among others, there are plans to place wind turbines. However, ecological research shows that nature and sustainable energy generation are difficult to combine in this area.

Vulnerable Veluwe

The Veluwe is home to the horned tern, a bird of prey. If wind farms are built, this increases the risk of collision with a rotor blade. The species is already vulnerable. The disappearance of a species could have a negative impact on the Veluwe’s fragile ecosystem. Moreover, the province has a legal duty to conserve this bird of prey.

Cameras or black rotor blade

The province says it has done a lot of research into solutions together with ecological experts and the wind sector. The solution now is not to allow wind farms on the Veluwe and 1 km around it, to temporarily allow limited wind farms in the 1-8 km zone around the Veluwe, and to stimulate the development of new technical measures. For instance, the province is investigating whether four existing camera detection systems are suitable in this situation. As late as 2023, the province wants to conduct a first trial with one such system. It is also investigating whether painting a rotor blade black will help. In Eemshaven, a trial for this is under way. The province is financially contributing to this project.

Consequences for initiators in the 1-8 km zone

The Horst & Telgt wind farm in the municipalities of Ermelo and Putten is one of two wind farms that could possibly go ahead with shutdown provision during the day in July and August. There may also be room for the Midden-Betuwe wind farm in the municipalities of Neder-Betuwe and Overbetuwe. This also depends on other issues being investigated in the project itself. The province will consult the initiators and the municipalities on how to generate the most energy with the limited space.

Implications for Gelderland’s renewable energy target

In the national Climate Agreement, it was agreed that 35TWh of renewable energy should be generated from solar and wind on land by 2030. Gelderland has indicated that it can contribute with 6.5 TWh. 11% of that would come from wind energy in the 1-8 km zone around the Veluwe. This is now under pressure as the decision reduces wind output to 8%. The province does want to keep working to deliver this bid. In addition, the expectation is that downtime could be reduced and there will be more room for new wind farms due to the new technical measures. Especially along the highways.

Consequences for other provinces

The 1-8 km zone around the Veluwe also affects the province of Utrecht, Overijssel and Flevoland. Gelderland province is coordinating with these provinces on the consequences.

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