As the Netherlands continues its energy strategy of wind farm development in the North Sea, it is encouraging to see a focus in the tender criteria on the protection and enhancement of the marine environment at these zones, and at the same time taking responsibility for developing a future energy system with innovations that allow for integration of large amounts of intermittent renewable power.
Ramboll’s energy technology experts are providing new concepts for system integration, energy storage and energy conversion to be implemented by SSE Renewable as part of the project. Novel concepts, so-called power-to-X technologies are being explored.
It is widely recognised that policy and action is needed urgently to meet the climate and nature crises and this project provides opportunities to address both. Not only does renewable energy meet climate commitments, the protection of biodiversity also builds resilience for climate change and contributes to carbon storage (so-called ‘blue carbon’).
Samantha Deacon, ecosystems expert at Ramboll commented:
“The Dutch government and SSE Renewables must be applauded for prioritising nature and committing to monitor marine ecosystem restoration to inform future infrastructure projects. Parts of the North Sea have suffered from over-fishing and the development of new infrastructure offers tremendous opportunities to restore degraded areas and seek new ways of enhancing the marine environment for future generations. By considering nature at the planning stage, innovations can be integrated into the design of the wind farm, which is both more efficient and effective in the long run, whilst providing wider benefits beyond the wind farm zone for commercial fisheries”.
Ramboll’s marine biologists and permitting specialists are working with Dutch scientists and engineers to develop evidence-based, compliant solutions for the conservation and restoration of the biodiversity in the Dutch North Sea on behalf of SSE Renewables.
Dennis Breugelmans, the Project Director for International Markets at SSE Renewables said:
“The Netherlands is one of the leading offshore wind markets in Europe. We welcome the Dutch Government’s ambitious new energy and climate programme and we want to bring our wealth of experience and track record in delivering cutting edge offshore wind projects. This will not only help the country meet its ambitious targets, but together with the local expertise of Dutch companies, we will bring forward innovations to help drive the whole Dutch offshore wind sector forward. The Hollandse Kust West tender will be a great opportunity for us to show what we can do, and we look forward to announcing more about our plans in the coming months.”