Enschede delays high wind turbine policy: consequences for environment and health highly uncertain

Enschede will not establish a policy for the time being to install high-altitude wind turbines. Little is known about the health and environmental consequences of large wind turbines. However, in November the city council may consider making rules for small wind turbines with tip heights up to 35 metres.

This was stated in the council’s new energy vision proposal, which was not adopted by the city council in July of this year. This was due to the lack of clarity in wind energy standards. The committee first wants to wait for additional study by the GGD and RIVM on the health effects of wind turbines before setting policy rules for the introduction of wind energy.

This year the State Council also decided that the Dutch government should issue an Environmental Impact Report (MER) in which the consequences for the environment are set. General standards for noise, cast shade, and safety for the construction and use of wind turbines are insufficient for wind farms and require modification.

Search area along the N18 for wind turbines

The municipality of Enschede is putting the high wind turbine policy on the sidelines until there is more clarity about new national standards for the use of large wind turbines and wind farms and/or research by the GGD and RIVM leads to their modification.

This process, which could take at least another two years, could mean that the wind energy search areas in Enschede along the N18 are no longer suitable for installing wind turbines.

small windmills

Small windmills are possible to consider, according to Enschede College. Because despite uncertainty about the ability to install wind turbines with tip heights of 190 to 230 meters, the mayor and council members want to introduce policy rules for small turbines up to 35 meters in height.

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Enschede’s energy target (the share of renewables in total energy consumption should have increased by 8% by 2030) remains in effect, with the allocation to finding alternatives to potential loss of wind power generation capacity. This should be achieved by realizing the potential of more small wind turbines.

Megan Vasquez

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