The Dutch government has announced plans to build new wind farms in the North Sea between 2024 and 2030, bringing renewable power to 40% of today’s electricity consumption in the Netherlands.
The plans and possible locations in the Roadmap add to the certainty which has already contributed to a major reduction in the costs of offshore wind energy, making it possible to realise the first wind farm without subsidies. The cabinet will begin issuing tenders for the new wind farms in 2021.
Up to 11.5 gigawatts by 2030
The government’s energy agreement stipulates that five wind farms must be completed by 2023 increasing capacity to some 4.5 gigawatts. In addition, the coalition agreement calls for offshore wind farms generating an extra 7 gigawatts to be realised between 2024 and 2030.
The cabinet believes implementation of the Roadmap 2030 (pdf) will boost Dutch business and the economy to the tune of an estimated €15 to €20 billion in investments and 10,000 jobs. The government hopes to further increase the Dutch market share in offshore wind energy (25% of the European market), as well as exports to Asia and the United States. At the same time, affordable sustainable energy will provide Dutch industries with a competitive advantage with a knock on effect for related industries in the transport and energy conversion sector.
The North Sea as sustainable energy source
The relatively shallow waters, favourable wind climate and proximity of good ports and industrial energy consumers provided by the Dutch North Sea offer opportunities to facilitate energy transition. In order to accommodate the numerous activities already located in the North Sea, stakeholders were involved in the development of the Roadmap. The ambitions of coastal municipalities, were also given consideration. The North of the Frisian Islands Wind Farm Zone, for instance, takes into account the Province of Groningen’s aspirations to enhance the economic prospects of the region.
The cabinet also wants non-electrical energy consumption (80% of total energy demand) to become sustainable. This will require a transition to sustainable electricity for use in industry, heating and mobility. It will also lead to the manufacture of ‘green molecules’ such as hydrogen as discussed in climate agreement negotiations. The cabinet may designate new wind farm zones in the future with an eye to growth and intends to set out its vision in its North Sea Strategy 2030, to be published later this year.