Nimby’s in Urk en Barendrecht



Het zogenaamde nimby syndroom (‘not in my backyard’) tiert welig.


De burgemeester van Urk (geciteerd in over het geplande windmolenpark: ,,Het beeld van ons duizend jaar oude dorp dat oprijst uit het water, wordt vernield.”


Zou het cynisme, dat in zijn opmerking besloten ligt, hem zijn ontgaan? Grootschalige windmolenparken zijn juist bij uitstek bedoeld om te voorkomen dat Urk over duizend jaar onder water ligt.


En wat betreft Barendrecht:

Ook al verdient kolen met CCS niet de duurzaamheidsprijs (vanwege bv luchtvervuiling, landschapsaantasting en nog resterende CO2 emissie), we kunnen het ons niet veroorloven om deze optie uit te sluiten. Daarvoor is het klimaatprobleem te ernstig, en de prognoses voor duurzame energiebronnen niet afdoende. Zie ook dit artikel.


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4 Responses to “Nimby’s in Urk en Barendrecht”

  1. Heiko Gerhauser Says:

    I have noticed that opponents of wind projects get the NIMBY label a lot more readily than say opponents of big hydro projects or nuclear power plants, or carbon offset reforestation schemes. In those contexts I have even heard statements such as “No energy source opposed by the local community can be sustainable.”

    Clearly there are alternatives to wind parks in scenic places, in another article about Urk, one of the suggestions made by opponents of that particular wind farm was offshore wind parks far from scenic sites.

  2. Bart Says:


    The term ‘nimby’ should of course be applied evenly across the board, as I have tried to do by applying it both to the CCS and windfarm projects.

    However, its different usage for different kinds of projects may be related to the fact that many opponents of e.g. nuclear energy are opposed to the technology in general, so the term ‘nimby’ wouldn’t actually apply to their opposition; they don’t want it period, not in anybody’s backyard (‘niaby’?).

    There can also be a huge difference in how invasive the technology is. I have more sympathy for someone’s objection that their house will be standing under 30 metres of water than if they don’t like the view of a windturbine along the lakeshore.

    You’re right that not all locations for windfarms are equally suitable, and the same counts for CCS. Local public resistance would probably be lower for off shore wind and a CCS project in North Groningen, but they are also more expensive than the proposed alternatives. Moreover, on our way to create a more sustainable energy system, shouldn’t it be and-and instead of either-or?

  3. Heiko Gerhauser Says:

    Maybe the word “cynicism” was a bit strong for my taste. It’s quite possible to avoid Urk getting flooded while being against wind turbines in scenic places in general.

    I think Nimbyism also has to do with a perceived mismatch between the damage suffered by the locals and the compensation they get. My parents had to leave the village where I spent my first few years, it had to make way for a lignite mine. They rented and were new to the area anyway. Still, they did get quite royal compensation for the trouble of having to move in the form of dirt cheap land. My parents have forgotten the details, but it was something like getting land for 20 DM a square metre, where the going rate was 50 DM, with the discount being given in compensation for the bother of having to move (they bought 1000 square metres). I believe most people who had to leave for that lignite mine got a very generous deal and consequently I believe there was very little Nimbyism about the village getting flattened.

    In many cases of Nimbyism there is well perceived local damage, but no direct compensation for that damage. So, when you own a house and have to fear it dropping in value by 10% and you get nothing in return, why wouldn’t you be opposed? With a 300000 Euro house that’s a lot of money you are being asked to accept losing for the common good or as, hmm, a cynic might say, the good of the project developer.

  4. Bart Says:

    Calling it cynical is perhaps a tad strong, but I found the imagery that the Urk mayor was using (“our village rising from the water”) quite peculiar, and funny in a twisted way, in light of the bigger issue (sea level rise).

    I think you’re right that the protest of locals to big development projects strongly depends on the extent to which they are compensated for their (perceived) damage. But applying that in practice is easier said than done. How do you measure the amount of damage? How do you determine who has to reimburse the damage? That’s perhaps easier for a forced move than for “horizonvervuiling” (‘polluting’ the view), which is very subjective by nature.

    The new nuclear reactor planned on our terrain causes a lot of resistance amongst locals. NRG may argue that there is no danger, so no damage, but the resistance remains. And if enough people are convinced of a danger (Barendrecht), or of an inferior view (Urk), then indeed real damage may occur via decreasing house prices (like a self fulfilling prophecy).

    House prices have also decreased due to the financial crisis. Do we get compensated? I’ve heard another (Dutch) scientist remark at the dinner table that he would not even think about buying a house close to the coast, below sea level and behind one of the weaker coastal protection of the country. It’s a matter of time before the next big storm hits that may (nearly) cause a flooding. Even without actually causing a flooding, a real perception of danger in a near-disaster scenario could already have strong consequences for the house prices. Would we be compensated in such a scenario?

    Overall it’s very tricky, since in most cases the burden of a big infrastructure project (be it a new highway, a new coalmine or a new windturbine) is indeed not evenly distributed, and neither is the benefit. Care should be taken to minimize this unevenness, and to compensate those who lose out, I agree. But for many of these projects, there is no location where there wouldn’t be any resistance. The shipping industry for example is strongly opposed to more off-shore windparks.

    The situation where everybody is waiting for everybody else to start solving the problem has to end. It’s paralyzing even the beginning of the needed changes.

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