On 5 September 2009, a wind agreement was concluded by nine parties, agreeing to at least double the current wind energy output. The ambition is for wind energy output in the Rotterdam port area to grow from 150 to at least 300 megawatt (MW) in 2020.
The current agreement, which expires in 2010, can certainly be called a success. It was agreed that there would be 120 MW in 2010, but this area has already produced 150 MW of wind energy. After having achieved the results of the previous agreement, Rotterdam does not sit back and do nothing, but wants to achieve even bigger results.
The wind turbines in the port will produce electricity for at least 250,000 households. The parties signing the agreement are the province of South Holland (initiator), the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, the municipality of Rotterdam, the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the South Holland Environmental Federation, Deltalinqs, the Netherlands Wind Energy Association (NWEA) and Rotterdam Climate Initiative.
The perfect spot
Why will this work in Rotterdam? First of all, Rotterdam has the largest industrial development area in the Netherlands. Industrial developmental areas have infrastructure (dykes, highways and sea defences) which is suitable for the large-scale use of wind energy. And also the fact that there are often strong winds in this area makes it the perfect spot. Secondly, a number of typical issues that are often at play with wind on land, such as NIMBY (not in my backyard) are of lesser importance here. Moreover, embedding wind energy in the landscape often poses a problem: in Rotterdam, wind energy is embedded in an industrial landscape. And finally: Rotterdam has extensive climate ambitions and wants to be the most sustainable international port, and therefore, unlike many other municipalities, it says: “we'll do it”. And if Rotterdam says so, it will do so. Not just words but deeds, when it comes to wind energy in any case.