University of Twente Student Theses


Exploring an incremental pathway to the development of multi-use exploitation within offshore wind farms

Lobregt, Maarten (2020) Exploring an incremental pathway to the development of multi-use exploitation within offshore wind farms.

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Abstract:The North Sea is getting more crowded due to the increase in offshore wind farms (OWF). According to several researchers, this development causes pressure on the valuable area of current North Sea stakeholders, like fisheries and environmental organisations (Hooper and Austen, 2013; Lacroix and Pioch, 2011). However, the designated areas for OWF could potentially be used for secondary activities, also called “multi-use activities”, such as mussel cultivation (Buck et al., 2010; Lagerveld et al., 2014), seaweed farming (Van den Burg et al., 2016), and nature development (Kamermans et al., 2018). In contrast, other researchers have shown the difficulties of multi-use exploitation within wind farms because exploitation uncertainties can lead to excessive insurance claims (Kannen, 2012; Wever et al., 2015). Because there is no clear multi-use policy by the government, stakeholders are developing individual strategies to increase the value of OWF and to find solutions for the spatial planning problem of the North Sea. This fragmented approach to multi-use resembles a ‘prisoner’s dilemma’ in which all actors develop the safest plan for themselves. However, integrating business cases and jointly developing an integrated exploitation plan would be a better choice for all involved stakeholders. This research investigates the potentially best multi-use businesses to increase the value of OWF with a technology assessment (TA) approach. The initial findings of this study suggest that combining different multi-use functions within an OWF seem the best choice to increase the spatial value. The diversity of functions can increase the social acceptance of different stakeholders and increase the chance of joint financing and use of environmental resources that support each other's exploitation. As a result, upscaling may be possible. However, current research shows there are many exploitation risks, uncertainties, and dilemmas of stakeholders, that resembles the implementation of different multi-use functions within an OWF. Therefore, this scientific paper aims to introduce an alternative and realistic pathway to multi-use exploitation. Lessons learned from the Building with Nature (BwN) process, which had similar dilemmas ten years ago, are used to reach this objective. The results of this research suggest that involving a gradual process of change and development for multi-use exploitation is desirable because it will reduce the size of the knowledge gaps at each step. This evolutionary approach should integrate functions one by one, rather than waiting for a revolutionary multi-use ‘big bang’ consisting of the best multi-use combination. This incremental approach should consist of smaller pilot projects of multi-use and constructive cooperation between the stakeholders, that will eventually lead to large scale multi-use exploitation. Keywords: Multi-use, Offshore Wind Farms, Building with Nature, Development Approaches, Stepping Stones
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Construction Management and Engineering MSc (60337)
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