Offshore wind energy is one of the most important pillars of climate policy. It is indispensable when it comes to achieving a climate-neutral energy supply by 2050.
More offshore wind capacity is needed to achieve the increased climate target of a reduction in CO2 emission by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. On 11 February 2022, the Dutch Government raised the offshore wind energy target from 11.5 to about 21 GW around 2030. By then, offshore wind farms will supply 16% of the energy required in the Netherlands and 75% of our present electricity needs.
Electricity demand is however expected to increase further. This means we will need even more offshore wind energy in the period after 2030. Future scenarios for energy systems (supply and demand) and the North Sea Energy Outlook indicate that between 38 and 72 GW of offshore wind capacity will be required by 2050. A new approach and roadmap is needed to determine where, when, and how much will actually be developed.
North Sea Programme 2022–2027
An important starting point for more offshore wind energy is the North Sea Agreement. This includes the agreement to explore the space for 20 to 40 GW of offshore wind capacity, in addition to the 11.5 GW mentioned above. We essentially then at least need to find space for around 27 GW of offshore wind capacity so that, together with the 11.5 GW already planned, we will reach the lower end of the 38 to 72 GW bandwidth.
In March 2022, the Government designated three new Offshore Wind Farm Zones in the North Sea 2022-2027 Programme: Nederwiek, Lagelander and Doordewind. At the same time, the Cabinet removed the previously designated Hollandse Kust (southwest) and Hollandse Kust (northwest) zones. These two zones turned out to be less desirable with a view to ecology, shipping and fishing. The North Sea 2022-2027 Programme is part of the National Water Programme 2022-2027 (in Dutch).
Offshore Wind Energy Roadmap 2030
The 'Offshore Wind Energy Roadmap 2030' has been updated to reflect the 3 new and the 2 expired wind energy areas. In June 2022, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) published the new 'Offshore Wind Energy Roadmap 2030'.
The Ministry collaborated with us, Rijkswaterstaat, TenneT, and market parties to complete the Roadmap. Consultation meetings were organised for this in March and April 2022. View the Offshore Wind Energy Roadmap below as a download.
New approach to offshore wind energy
For the further growth of offshore wind energy after 2030, integration into the energy system is necessary. This means:
- supply of offshore wind energy must match demand;
- construction of transport infrastructure, conversion (for example to hydrogen), and storage of wind energy must also take place.
(Market) regulation, everything required to successfully develop offshore wind and related energy projects, must be adapted to this. This ultimately results, for example, in a different set-up of the tenders to build and operate wind farms.
Collaboration and consultation
On June 3 2021, the process kicked off during a special webinar. The Government, wind farm developers, grid operators, and industrial parties are working together in that process to shape the new approach. Where necessary, they conduct external investigations.
Watch the webinar via offshorewind.rvo.nl.
Offshore Wind Energy Roadmap 2040
With a roadmap for the period towards 2040, we are shaping the roll-out of offshore wind energy and the technical outlines for integration into the energy system. We distinguish between a roadmap for the planning of new wind farms and a development plan for the required transport infrastructure.
The European context is important for the infrastructure development plan. The European Commission (EC) sets the limits for offshore grid planning in its offshore renewable energy strategy. The EC also indicates it mainly wants to place the responsibilities in the hands of the network operators and the EC itself. The Dutch development plan must therefore be in line with this and provide clarity about the distribution of competence.
In the process of the new approach and roadmap for offshore wind energy, we are working towards 4 important milestones:
- 2022: decision-making on the additional task for 2030;
- 2022: publication of the corresponding extension to the roadmap for offshore wind energy 2030;
- 2022: letter from the new Cabinet to the House of Representatives with a long-term vision for offshore wind towards 2040 and 2050;
- 2023: establishing a new approach and roadmap for offshore wind energy 2040.