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Regio Arnhem Nijmegen heeft weinig ruimte voor windturbines. Foto: Omroep Gelderland

Arnhem Nijmegen region has a small area for wind turbines

The steering group is headed by Harriët Tiemens, Nijmegen Alderman for Sustainability. Impressive details: the stadium itself has few opportunities for windmills and solar energy fields. Moreover, there is much less room for wind turbines, while it is much needed to achieve a balanced distribution between wind and solar energy.

first regional energy strategyRES 1.0Arnhem Nijmegen has recently been established by all the municipalities involved. This illustrates how this region contributes to the national ambition to generate 35 TWh of sustainable energy by 2030.

A terawatt hour means a terawatt hour. 1 terawatt-hour = 1,000,000,000 kilowatt-hours. Watt hour (Wh) is a unit in which we express electrical energy. Watts is power and watts per hour is the amount of energy per hour. Therefore, if a 5.6 megawatt wind turbine is run for an hour, it generates 5.6 megawatt hours (MWh).

Lots of work to do

You can translate the national task of 35 TWh to the Arnhem-Nijmegen region in different ways; For example based on population, surface area or energy demand. Depending on the method, this region should then contribute 0.6 to 1.5 TWh. Current plans (RES 1.0) are based on 1.62 TWh. With this offer, the Arnhem Nijmegen region is taking a first step towards Gelderland’s goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030.

See also: Ten questions and answers about windmills and more in the region

There is still much work to be done. Harriet Timmins, as Chairman of the Board of Directors of RES Arnhem Nijmegen, finds himself in a difficult position, particularly with regard to wind turbines. Precisely because her municipality has the fewest options for installing wind turbines and there is also limited space for solar fields. “This is why Nijmegen is so humble,” Timmens says.

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It asserts that Nijmegen is already contributing six wind turbines with four wind turbines near Nijmegen-North and turbines planned at the Enge site (for the former coal-fired power plant). In addition, another 90,000 solar panels will be added this fall near the Bijsterhuizen business park. Solar panels will also be installed at the Nijmegen-Betwe wind farm.

The wind/sun ratio remains a pain point

However, the relationship between wind and solar energy remains a difficult point in the Arnhem-Nijmegen region. Ideally, this ratio is 50/50 so that there are as few tops and bottoms as possible. Then the network operator does not have to build as a heavy peak infrastructure, which saves significant costs. As long as there are no good storage technologies for such large amounts of energy, both sources should complement each other as closely as possible.

In the early plans of RES Arnhem Nijmegen, the wind/sun ratio was very skewed; 3/97. Subsequently, the research areas where wind turbines could be located were expanded, which means that the ratio of 11/89 and perhaps even 20/80 is now possible. But this means that areas where municipalities previously did not have in mind wind turbines and/or solar fields are considered. They are still wary of it in Druten and Zevenaar.

Let the citizens participate in lust as much as possible

One of the principles of wind turbines in the Arnhem-Nijmegen region is to group them together in a number of areas. This prevents fragmentation of individual wind turbines across the region.

Another starting point is that the benefits of wind turbines should benefit residents as much as possible. The goal is to achieve 50% local ownership. For example, a number of Nijmegen residents are already co-owners of the Nijmegen-Betwe wind farm and shares of the solar farm to be built will soon be issued.

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Tense from closing the gas tap

Another important task is heating homes and businesses. “I get very nervous when I consider that the gas tap in the Netherlands will be discontinued in 2030. There is still a lot of work to be done,” says Timmins.

There are already thermal networks such as those in Nijmegen-Noord where residual heat from the ARN waste incinerator in Weurt is used to heat homes. In the coming years, these networks will have to be expanded and new sources are sought.

“I often hear criticism from people about heat transfer. But what do they want? Even if you don’t care about the climate, you still have to find an alternative when the gas tap closes in 2030. Other than that, you have to import gas from Russia and you don’t want to rely on such This country, isn’t it?”