The Dutch EIA Commission has confirmed that the approach used by Pondera Consult and Grontmij, to investigate the environmental impact of the offshore wind energy area “Borssele”, is clear and relevant.
The Commission advises on the content and quality of environmental reports. The competent authority, in this case the Minister of Economic Affairs, shall have the final decision on the project.
The new legislative proposal on Offshore Wind Energy introduces the so-called “lot decision”. The “lot decision” determines where and under what conditions an offshore wind farm can be built. At a later stage, a price tender will determine which party gets the approval to build the offshore wind farm.
The environmental consequences of the lot decision are examined in an environmental impact statement. The Commission finds that the proposed research approach in the Pondera Consult and Grontmij report is clear and relevant.
The Commission advises that the report should clearly describe measures to minimize negative effects on nature and marine safety. With this information, the Minister can make a well-reasoned decision.
The Commission’s previous opinions on offshore wind energy stressed the importance of proper environmental information due to the great environmental value in and around the North Sea.
Dealing with this is complex and there is still much uncertainty. Therefore, the Dutch Government are currently developing the so-called “Ecology and Accumulation Framework “. The environmental impact of the Borssele area will be the first to be assessed under this new framework.