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Spatial planning of offshore wind farms: A windfall to marine environmental protection?


  • Punt, Maarten J.
  • Groeneveld, Rolf A.
  • van Ierland, Ekko C.
  • Stel, Jan H.


Wind farms are often planned offshore where wind conditions are favourable and the visual impact is less important. Wind farms have both positive and negative effects on the marine environment. Negative effects include bird collisions, underwater sounds and electromagnetic fields, whilst positive effects constitute functioning as artificial reef and acting as no-take zones for fish, with possible spill-over effects. This paper presents a spatially explicit framework to analyze effects of wind farms on the marine environment and aims to evaluate how wind farms can contribute to protection of the marine environment through strategic and economically viable location choices. The functioning and the applicability of the model are demonstrated in a numerical example for the Dutch exclusive economic zone. We find that the careful spatial planning of wind farms is a key factor for profitability and environmental protection, and that, if carefully planned, the environment can benefit from offshore wind farms.

Suggested Citation

  • Punt, Maarten J. & Groeneveld, Rolf A. & van Ierland, Ekko C. & Stel, Jan H., 2009. "Spatial planning of offshore wind farms: A windfall to marine environmental protection?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 93-103, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2009:i:1:p:93-103

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rolf Groeneveld & Carla Grashof-Bokdam & Ekko van Ierland, 2005. "Metapopulations in Agricultural Landscapes: A Spatially Explicit Trade-off Analysis," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(4), pages 527-547.
    2. Wolsink, Maarten, 2000. "Wind power and the NIMBY-myth: institutional capacity and the limited significance of public support," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 49-64.
    3. Lenzen, Manfred & Munksgaard, Jesper, 2002. "Energy and CO2 life-cycle analyses of wind turbines—review and applications," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 339-362.
    4. Ek, Kristina, 2005. "Public and private attitudes towards "green" electricity: the case of Swedish wind power," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(13), pages 1677-1689, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Börger, Tobias & Hattam, Caroline & Burdon, Daryl & Atkins, Jonathan P. & Austen, Melanie C., 2014. "Valuing conservation benefits of an offshore marine protected area," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 229-241.
    2. Ashley, M.C. & Mangi, S.C. & Rodwell, L.D., 2014. "The potential of offshore windfarms to act as marine protected areas – A systematic review of current evidence," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 301-309.
    3. Dai, Kaoshan & Bergot, Anthony & Liang, Chao & Xiang, Wei-Ning & Huang, Zhenhua, 2015. "Environmental issues associated with wind energy – A review," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 911-921.
    4. Vaissière, Anne-Charlotte & Levrel, Harold & Pioch, Sylvain & Carlier, Antoine, 2014. "Biodiversity offsets for offshore wind farm projects: The current situation in Europe," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 172-183.
    5. Mekonnen, Addisu D. & Gorsevski, Pece V., 2015. "A web-based participatory GIS (PGIS) for offshore wind farm suitability within Lake Erie, Ohio," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 162-177.
    6. repec:eee:appene:v:204:y:2017:i:c:p:846-865 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Vanja WESTERBERG & Jette BREDAHL JACOBSEN & Robert LIFRAN, 2012. "The Multi-faceted Nature of Preferences for Offshore Wind Farm Siting," Working Papers 12-22, LAMETA, Universitiy of Montpellier, revised Jul 2012.
    8. Drechsler, Martin & Ohl, Cornelia & Meyerhoff, Jürgen & Eichhorn, Marcus & Monsees, Jan, 2011. "Combining spatial modeling and choice experiments for the optimal spatial allocation of wind turbines," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3845-3854, June.
    9. Alexander, Karen A. & Meyjes, Sophie A. & Heymans, Johanna J., 2016. "Spatial ecosystem modelling of marine renewable energy installations: Gauging the utility of Ecospace," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 331(C), pages 115-128.
    10. Lozano-Minguez, E. & Kolios, A.J. & Brennan, F.P., 2011. "Multi-criteria assessment of offshore wind turbine support structures," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 2831-2837.
    11. repec:eee:enepol:v:113:y:2018:i:c:p:53-67 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Schillings, Christoph & Wanderer, Thomas & Cameron, Lachlan & van der Wal, Jan Tjalling & Jacquemin, Jerome & Veum, Karina, 2012. "A decision support system for assessing offshore wind energy potential in the North Sea," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 541-551.
    13. Kim, Taeyun & Park, Jeong-Il & Maeng, Junho, 2016. "Offshore wind farm site selection study around Jeju Island, South Korea," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 619-628.
    14. Wright, Glen & O’Hagan, Anne Marie & de Groot, Jiska & Leroy, Yannick & Soininen, Niko & Salcido, Rachael & Castelos, Montserrat Abad & Jude, Simon & Rochette, Julien & Kerr, Sandy, 2016. "Establishing a legal research agenda for ocean energy," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 126-134.
    15. José F. Herbert-Acero & Oliver Probst & Pierre-Elouan Réthoré & Gunner Chr. Larsen & Krystel K. Castillo-Villar, 2014. "A Review of Methodological Approaches for the Design and Optimization of Wind Farms," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(11), pages 1-87, October.
    16. repec:wsi:jeapmx:v:19:y:2017:i:01:n:s1464333217500053 is not listed on IDEAS


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