Energy and Farming on the Texel Island


On the island of Texel energy is being generated by solar photovoltaic systems and biomass fermentation. The more green energy that is generated on the island itself, the more sustainable the island becomes. This is supported by the goal the community of Texel put up for itself; to be energy neutral in 2020. To realise this, a lot more green energy resources should be created on the island.

These resources could be windmills. The people on Texel don't want them, though. They say the windmills take away the beauty of the island, and this will be bad for tourism. Whether this is true or not, the Texelaars have the last say in the matter, they should be comfortable on their own island. Wind energy is out.

Another possibility is scaling up biomass fermentation. But to keep this really green, the biomass i should come from the island itself. If not, the environmental costs of shipping it over could damage the 'greenness' of the energy. Producing it on the island can interfere with the production of food on the island, however. That would mean having to import food to the island, which is also not a green option.

So the most obvious source of green energy for Texel is photovoltaic systems. This will not lead to horizon pollution because it is hardly visible on the top of people's roofs. There are 6404 houses on the island of Texel [3]. A panel of 1 m2 will, in the Netherland, generate about 119 kWh in a year [1]. The average of one household is 3,500 kWh per year [2]. If we assume in every house there is one household living there (either tourists or inhabitants), every house should have 30 m2 of solar panels on their roofs. This should be about possible, if everyone wants to make the investment. For the restaurants, hotels and other industries the biomass fermentation plant could deliver the energy.

For our map, the energy source could be shown on it. This way, people can themselves figure out if they think the source is 'green' enough for them. There should be a difference between the energy transported from the mainland and the energy generated on Texel.








To make the restaurants on Texel as 'green' as possible, the produce should not travel far. Ideally, it should come from the island itself. Right now, 65% of the land surface of Texel is used for farming. 21% is used for nature and the rest is built on. If Texel is to keep the tourists coming to see the nature, there is no possibility of enlarging the farmland.

In Western Europe, we need about 2000 m2 per person to produce enough food. [1] To produce enough food for the whole of Texel, we need food to feed 14000 inhabitants and 45000 tourists [2] [3]. This means we need 11,800 hectare of farmland to produce enough food. The whole of Texel is 15,416 ha [2], which means about 10,150 ha of farmland is available on Texel. This means almost all produce should be able to come from Texel.


[1] Global changes in diets and the consequences for land requirements for food ,Thomas Kastner (RUG) (







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