University of Twente Student Theses


Biodiversity Considerations in Environmental Impact Assessments in the Netherlands : Case Study Nij Hiddum Houw

Manu-Marfo, N.O. (2018) Biodiversity Considerations in Environmental Impact Assessments in the Netherlands : Case Study Nij Hiddum Houw.

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Abstract:As the world races to combat climate change and its effects on the global ecosystem, renewable energy sources have been promulgated as a major key to fight this global menace. However, this quest to increase the share of renewables in the energy mix certainly comes at a cost to biodiversity. In the wake of this, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) , are facing increasing amounts of criticism regarding their ability to effectively mitigate the negative impact of renewable energy installations on biodiversity. This research was conducted to determine the extent to which EIAs in the Netherlands consider impacts of renewable energy projects on biodiversity. The study employed the use of a single case study of wind farm Nij Hiddum Houw, a controversial case in the province of Friesland. In addition, primary and secondary data sources were obtained through review of existing literature and in-depth interviews with key informants from academia, NCEA, the Friese Millieu Federatie, and province of Friesland. The analysis of the research objective was done from an ecological and social perspective. Results from the study revealed that, EIAs are primarily focused on protecting endangered and extinct species and were found to be lacking in accurately reporting on the accumulated impacts of projects which affected the quality of mitigation measures employed. This results in employing more impact reduction measures; the second step in the mitigation hierarchy, instead of focusing on avoidance. On the social front, it was revealed that certain renewable energy projects, particularly wind mills, faced resistance from locals because public opinion and subsequent social impacts local residents are not taken into consideration by EIA. The study concludes by making recommendations on how EIAs could be more sensitive to biodiversity.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:43 environmental science
Programme:Environmental and Energy Management MSc (69319)
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