Borssele Offshore Wind Site First to Try New Environmental Framework

Dutch independent Commission on EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) has announced that it finds the approach to investigate the environmental impact of offshore wind energy in Borssele clear and relevant. 

The Commission is established by law and advises on the content and quality of environmental reports. Finally, the competent authority, in this case the Minister of Economic Affairs, shall decide on the project.

The legislative proposal on Offshore Wind Energy introduces the so-called “lot decision”. The lot decision determines where and under what conditions an offshore wind farm can be built. Later on, it is determined via tender which party gets the approval to build a wind farm.

The environmental consequences of the lot decision are examined in an environmental impact statement.

The Commission finds the proposed research approach clear and relevant. In the report, the environmental impact of different technical options for wind farms will be examined.

The Commission advises the report should clearly describe measures to minimize negative effects on nature and marine safety. With these information, the Minister can make a well-reasoned decision.

In its previous opinions on offshore wind energy, the Commission stressed the importance of proper environmental information because of the great natural value in and around the North Sea.

Dealing with this is complex and there is much uncertainty. Therefore, the Netherlands are currently developing the so-called “Ecology and Cumulation Framework “. The environmental impact of the Borssele lot will be the first to use this new framework.

Offshore WIND Staff; Image: Government of the Netherlands