Monitoring data from windfarms in the Dutch North Sea sector

28 March 2019

In the Netherlands sector of the North Sea already a number of offshore wind farms is operational and new developments for additional wind farms are well underway. Establishing and operating an offshore windfarm requires licenses from the Dutch government. This includes that windfarm operators are required to undertake marine environmental monitoring activities for gathering long timeseries and samples of relevant parameters for physical oceanography and marine biology. These ecology dataset collections are collected as part of the license and can serve studying possible effects of the construction and exploitation of the windfarms on their environment. The license includes also that these data are to be shared with public authorities for possible re-use and analyses.

However in practice these monitoring datasets were falling somewhat outside of the normal pathways and as effect did not reach the national marine data management infrastructure. Therefore Rijkswaterstaat (Public Works Department) and Deltares, both partners in EMODnet Data Ingestion, made an arrangement for safeguarding the datasets. This is organised in the ‘Wind at Sea Ecological Monitoring Program (Wozep).

In practice, Deltares undertakes activities for processing and documenting the monitoring data from the offshore windfarms in the Netherlands sector using its OpenEarth tools and prepares the datasets for long term stewardship and availablity. The collected data concern distributions of species (mammals, birds (ship and airplane counts), fish (+ larvae and eggs), and benthos) and other datasets such as flight-patterns of birds and bats, effect studies of noise, and collision model results.

The EMODnet Data Ingestion portal provides an attractive way for sharing these datasets and making these available also for the overarching European marine data infrastructures such as SeaDataNet and EurOBIS which feed into EMODnet Thematic portals. 

The selection and elaboration of data sets from the renewable energy sector activities in the North Sea is an ongoing activity and the results can be found in the Ingestion View Submissions service. Do a free search for 'Deltares'.