Poll: Coastal wind energy farm a disaster for tourism

The plan to build an offshore windfarm in the North Sea will discourage tourists and day-visitors to Dutch beaches as it would ruin the view. It will also result in thousands of jobs being lost.

This is according to a survey by Green Destinations, a consultancy firm for sustainable tourism, Elsevier reports. According to the firm, five percent of existing tourists visiting the coastal towns will no longer visited the beaches if the view is dominated by windmills. This will result in business owners losing out on 373 million euros annually and 3,800 jobs being lost.

Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs plans to build hundreds of windmills along the Dutch coast. This forms part of his plans to reach the quota of 14 percent renewable energy by 2020 as stated in the Energy Agreement.  In March the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, gave the green light for three such windfarms to be built, despite protests and complaints from local municipalities.

Albert Korper of the foundation Vrije Horizon, Free Horizon in English, hopes that this survey will push the government and Tweede Kamer to reconsider an alternative location where the mills would be less visible. He believes that IJmuiden Ver, a location about 60 kilometers off the coast, would be a better location.

In April the Court of Audit stated that it is unrealistic to expect that the Netherlands will be able to meet the targets stated in the Energy Agreement.

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