Dutch claim international first as North Sea offshore wind farms powered down to protect migratory birds

Wind generators within the North Sea, off the coast of the Netherlands. As extra wind farms are developed, the interplay between generators and birds will grow to be an more and more vital challenge.

Mischa Keijser | Image Source | Getty Images

Offshore wind farms within the North Sea had been lately “shut down” in a bid to protect migratory birds and supply them with secure passage, in a transfer described as an “international first” by a Dutch minister.

Offshore wind farms shut to Borssele and Egmond aan Zee had been powered down to a most of simply two rotations per minute on May 13, in accordance to Dutch authorities. The four-hour shutdown is a part of a pilot initiative.

“This is an international first, nowhere on this planet are wind farms at sea shut down to protect birds throughout huge fowl migration,” Rob Jetten, the Netherlands’ minister for local weather and vitality coverage, mentioned in a Google-translated statement issued on Monday.

“We need to maintain the impression of wind farms on nature as small as doable and we do that with this measure, amongst different issues,” Jetten added.

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In the identical launch, the Dutch authorities mentioned it anticipated wind farms to be “shut down extra typically” from this autumn onwards, so as to present secure passage for migratory birds flying over the North Sea.

The initiative makes use of a lot of instruments to decide when turbine output must be lowered, together with a mannequin developed by a University of Amsterdam PhD scholar and inputs from consultants in fowl migration. Both present predictions about when and the place birds shall be, two days prematurely.

“The time span of two days provides grid operator TenneT time to assure the soundness of the high-voltage grid,” authorities mentioned. “This time can be used to inform all events concerned and to rigorously provoke the shutdown of the generators.”

The information represents the most recent instance of how the interplay between wind generators and wildlife will grow to be more and more vital within the years forward.

Earlier this 12 months, it was introduced that plans for an onshore wind farm in Scotland had been revised, following a lot of considerations that included the challenge’s impression on golden eagles.

Brussels-based trade physique WindEurope says the effects of projects can be prevented “by adequately planning, siting, and designing wind farms.”

“The impression of wind farms on birds and bats is extraordinarily low in contrast to the impression of local weather change and different human exercise,” it provides.

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