Wind turbines: Netherlands with a single step

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Wind turbines in the North Sea: Netherlands with a unique step

05/16/2023, 09:33

| Reading time: 2 minutes

Renewable energy: How wind turbines work

Renewable energy: How wind turbines work

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The Netherlands throttle their wind turbines. A world premiere, comments the responsible minister – and it has an animal reason.

To protect the migratory birds did the Netherlands last weekend wind turbines throttled in the North Sea. Because of the expected passage of millions of migratory birds on Saturday, the wind turbines in the Borssele and Egmond aan Zee wind farms stopped turning for practically four hours, as the Dutch government announced on Monday. “This is a world first,” said Secretary of Energy Rob Jetten.

With the first stop of wind turbines A pilot phase begins before the measure is to take place regularly from autumn. On the nights affected, the operators of the wind farms have to throttle the rotor blades to a maximum of two rotations per minute. This very slow speed is “for us and them birds” Almost like a complete standstill, explained Pieter ten Bruggencate, spokesman for the Ministry of Economy and Climate.

Experts | can predict the passage of the birds two days in advance, which according to the government gives the network operator Tennet time to “guarantee the stability of the high-voltage network”. Also future ones wind farms must adhere to the measure, the effectiveness of which is constantly being checked, the government explained.

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Wind turbine throttling in the Netherlands: model for wind turbines in Germany?

According to the government statement, bird protection expert Tim van Oijen said: “Twice a year, in spring and autumn, millions of birds migrate on some nights birds across the North Sea.” Because of the increasing number of wind farms there, it is extremely important that this expansion has minimal impact on the North Sea ecosystem.

According to biologists, the planned strong expansion of wind energy on the North and Baltic Seas also poses an increasing threat to Germany migratory birds There are currently 22 wind farms in the North Sea and three in the Baltic Sea off the German coast, with a total output of 8.1 gigawatts. By 2030 it should be 30 gigawatts, by 2045 the total output should be increased to at least 70 gigawatts according to the offshore wind energy law that came into force at the beginning of the year. (fmg/dpa/afp)

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