Riffgat Project Wakes German-Dutch Disagreement

Riffgat: Project Wakes German-Dutch Disagreement

The construction of the Riffgat offshore wind farm has started in the North Sea and so did the disagreement between Germany and the Netherlands.

Namely, the two countries cannot agree on which side of the border the offshore wind farm is, which puts the energy firm EWE in a difficult position.

Riffgat offshore wind farm is placed approximately 14 kilometers from the island of Borkum, Germany and 25 kilometers from the island of Schiermonnikoog, the Netherlands.

According to the Spiegel Online news, the disagreement is there for centuries and in 1960 the two countries loosely agreed over the Ems-Dollart Treaty to work together “in the spirit of neighborliness”. That agreement does not cover the area between three and 12 sea miles, where international waters begin, and the wind farm is supposed to be located right there.

A spokesman said that there are regular talks between Germany and the Netherlands about the border issue, while German Foreign Ministry does not want to comment the situation in detail.

The Riffgat offshore wind farm is scheduled to become operational in 2013 and supply electricity for 120,000 households.

The border dispute is responsible for at least part of the construction delay, which is presently about eight months behind schedule.


Offshore WIND staff, July 10, 2012; Image: Enova