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Sustainable Innovations for Dutch and Belgian Harbors

In the light of climate change and increasing environmental problems, sustainability is a major concern in the marina industry. The Netherlands and Belgium are leading the way in sustainable innovations and are applying them in their marinas. In this blog, we explore some of these innovations and show how Dutch and Belgian marinas are sailing towards a more sustainable future.

  1. Solar energy. The Netherlands and Belgium are betting heavily on solar energy. According to CBS, the total capacity of solar panels in the Netherlands increased from 2.9 GW in 2017 to 10.2 GW in 2020. In Belgium, installed solar capacity rose to 5.2 GW in 2020 (Apere). A study by Utrecht University (2019) shows that the potential of solar power in Dutch marinas is large, with an estimated capacity of 500 MWp (megawatt peak) on rooftops and parking lots. Marinas are implementing solar panels on building roofs and floating systems on the water to meet their energy needs.

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    For example, Jachthaven Roompot Marina in the Netherlands saves 10% of their energy consumption thanks to solar panels. 

    At Marina Bruinisse, for example, 200 kWp of solar panels have been installed, generating about 50% of the marina's electricity consumption.

     

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  2. Sustainable waste management. Waste management plays a crucial role in making marinas more sustainable. A 2020 study by Ghent University shows that approximately 4,500 tons of waste are produced annually in Belgian marinas. Many marinas, such as Nieuwpoort Marina, are now implementing waste separation and recycling programs to minimize the environmental impact of waste. They are also focusing on education and awareness among boat owners to reduce marine waste.

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  3. Electric charging infrastructure. The rise of electric boats requires sufficient charging infrastructure in marinas. According to a report by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (2020), there are already more than 100 marinas in the Netherlands with electric boat charging points. Marinas such as Marina Muiderzand in Almere and Portus Ganda in Ghent are investing in the expansion of their charging infrastructure to meet the growing demand and stimulate the switch to electric boating.

  4. Sustainable water management. Innovative water-saving measures are crucial for reducing the ecological impact of marinas. A study by Ghent University (2019) found that marinas in Belgium could save up to 30% water by installing water-saving taps, reusing rainwater and encouraging conscious water consumption among visitors.

  5. Green landscaping and planting. Green infrastructure in marinas contributes to biodiversity and improves air quality. A study by the University of Antwerp (2018) found that green roofs and facades in urban marinas can improve local air quality by 10-20%. Dutch and Belgian marinas are therefore investing in green landscaping, such as roof gardens and native plantings.

  6. Sustainable building materials and techniques. Dutch and Belgian marinas are increasingly using sustainable building materials and techniques in the construction and renovation of their facilities. According to a report by TNO (2020), marinas can save up to 25% energy by using energy-efficient construction methods and materials with low environmental impact, such as FSC-certified wood and recycled concrete.

  7. Encouraging sustainable behavior among visitors. An important aspect of sustainability at marinas is encouraging environmentally friendly behavior among visitors. Dutch and Belgian marinas are investing in educational initiatives, such as eco-friendly boating courses and information boards on local flora and fauna. A study by Wageningen University (2019) shows that such initiatives can increase environmental awareness among visitors by 15%.

Dutch and Belgian marinas are actively committed to sustainability and environmental protection by implementing innovative and effective green initiatives. Scientific research and figures support the impact of these measures, such as solar energy, sustainable water management, electric charging infrastructure, waste management and recycling, green construction, sustainable building materials and encouraging environmentally friendly behavior among visitors. By working together and investing in sustainable solutions, Dutch and Belgian marinas sail into the future with a reduced ecological footprint and a greener environment for their visitors and nature.

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