The Winds of Wieringerpolder - From Climate Concerns to Contested Developments in Wieringermeer, The Netherlands.
Klei, W.T. van der
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This bachelor thesis interrogates the contestations generated and resulting from wind energy development in the Wieringermeer area of the Netherlands. Known locally as the Wieringerpolder, this region is part of the municipality of Hollands Kroon located in the north of the province Noord-Holland and has been subject to twenty years of large-scale corporate developments, which has no end in sight. These developments started with the construction of greenhouses that first designated the area as interesting for national and international economic development. The arrival of the wind farm development in this region is primarily the result of Wieringermeer being an excellent site for wind energy generation. Wind energy has become an essential element of green economies and a cornerstone of climate change mitigation. While the renewable energy transition derives from climate concerns, ethnographic based findings suggest that the green economy follows the same extractive logic of the fossil fuel sector and causes similar disharmony. An example in the Wieringermeer is the construction of large data centres and multinationals attracted to the area because of the availability of energy generated by the wind farm. For the local residents, the ongoing developments in Wieringermeer are another example of the undesirable industrialisation that impacts the quality of their wide-open agricultural landscape. However, this perception is not only based on the arrival of multinationals or the visual changes in the area, but also on the processes of the developments, which many residents define as undemocratic, unjust, and unequal.