Offshore Wind farm Egmond aan Zee Wind power is one of the most important and promising forms of renewable energy, and significant growth is projected for the coming years. Offshore wind farms are an attractive alternative to onshore wind turbines, especially in densely populated countries like the Netherlands. Positive effects of offshore wind farms are mainly economical and social related, but benefit is gained also for mitigating global climate change by increasing the amount of sustainable energy. Negative impacts of offshore wind farms are effects on the surroundings in terms of visual pollution, noise emission and direct impact on nature. In order to increase the supply of renewable energy in the Netherlands, the Dutch government has decided to support the construction of the OWEZ near shore wind farm, consisting of 36 turbines ca. 8-18 km off the coast of Egmond aan Zee in the Netherlands.
The report at hand is an interim report and describes the first results of the effect study as observed during the period after construction of the wind farm. The data that were analysed cover the period from March through October 2007. Especially the data from radar require time to process and analyse, and for consistency in the report it was chosen to cover the same time span for all the different observation techniques. This explains why no data beyond October are included in this report. This interim status report shows the first preliminary results of fluxes, flight paths and flight altitudes of birds in the OWEZ area, and includes some discussion about the influence of the OWEZ offshore wind farm on flying birds, as results suggest thus far. Observations will continue through 2008, resulting in a final report in which data recorded through the entire effect study will be analysed and presented, and compared to the baseline study. These results will allow an assessment of potential disturbance, barrier effects and collision risks of wind turbines in the coastal waters of the Dutch North Sea.