In 1981 engineer Lievense presented an alternative plan for the Markerwaard. The intention was to drain a large part of the current Markermeer and turn it into a polder: the Markerwaard. In 2003, the national government made a final decision not to proceed with the drainage of the Markermeer.
In Lievense's plan, instead of reclamation, there would be an opposite idea: creating a reservoir by pumping in water. A reservoir that would be used for energy storage. The Markerwaard should serve as a water energy buffer by installing 15-meter-high dikes around the area over a length of 100 kilometers. 400 wind turbines would be placed on the dikes. This creates a basin in which water would be ground in with the help of the windmills. For example, a reservoir of 12 meters deep would be created, the top layer of which could be drained of 60 centimeters via water turbines to generate clean energy. It would also be possible to pump a layer of 20 to 30 centimeters of water into the basin every day with the help of windmills.
In addition, some of the same water turbines could be used to pump water back into the basin to raise the water level. In times of little energy demand and a high supply of energy (and therefore lower energy prices), the water level should rise by pumping water into it. The energy surplus existing at that time would be used for this. The moment the energy demand rises again (and with it the energy price) the water level would fall again and energy would be generated with the help of the water turbines. In this way, peaks in energy demand would be absorbed.
Wind and nuclear energy
Initially, the intention was to apply the plan to wind energy. Wind energy would be used to pump water into the reservoir and replenish it daily. A disadvantage of wind energy is the strongly fluctuating supply due to the dependence on certain wind conditions that are required to run windmills. This means that production does not always match well with demand, which also varies greatly. This plan offers a solution to this problem by offering an energy storage system.
The plan ultimately fell through. Costs were an important aspect. The question was whether it was economically feasible. Furthermore, the story to the media would not be entirely correct. It would mainly concern the storage of cheap nuclear energy. Nuclear energy would be used to fill the reservoir at night. By the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 the plan faded into the background.
Around 2007, however, the plan reappeared in a new form in the form of an energy island. The plan has been drawn up by an engineering firm Lievense and consultancy KEMA in which an island is being constructed in the North Sea. The island is not a reservoir, but a fall lake in which the water level is lower than the surrounding sea. Energy is generated by letting water flow into the lake. Instead of the height, the depth of the sea is sought. On the ring dyke of the island there are dozens of windmills that have a reverse function than in Lievense's plan: pump out the water in order to lower the water level in the fall lake. The fall lake can be seen as an inverted reservoir.
- Plan Lievense, article Dutch Wikipedia
- Thirty years of Plan Lievense, article from Energy + No. 2, April 2011
- Reverse Stuwmeer, newspaper article from the Full newspaper of July 6, 2007
- Dossier Energie Eiland, website engineering firm Lievense
- Plan Lievense, article website About wind
- Energy in the year 2000, article from MD July | August 1980
- Wind and hydropower in wet Markerwaard, article beta February 1980
- 'Plan Lievense actually intended for nuclear energy', article Delta year 40, number 6