Next permit procedure for offshore wind farms announced

Published on:
4 June 2024

The next permit procedure for offshore wind farms is announced. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) assesses permit applications for the IJmuiden Ver Gamma and Nederwiek I Wind Farm Sites based on a comparative test with a financial offer. At the end of the 3rd quarter of 2025, wind farm developers can submit an application for a permit for the construction and operation of wind farms on these sites, together suitable for 4 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy.

How a comparative test works

The Letter to Parliament dated 31 May 2024 explains why this procedure is chosen. There are several ways to assess permit applications for an offshore wind farm. One of these is a comparative test with a financial offer. With this method, RVO draws up a number of ranking criteria, with which the applications are mainly assessed on quality. In their applications, developers show to what extent they meet the criteria. This way they earn points and a ranking order is created.

In this comparative test, a developer's financial bid also counts in the scoring. The financial offer is an amount the developer pays to the Dutch state to build and operate the wind farm. This bid can create more competition and differences between applications that are substantively similar. The developer with the most points receives the permit.

Innovative solutions and difference between applications

The qualitative criteria encourage developers to come up with innovative solutions for social goals. In the comparative test with a financial offer, the focus is on these goals. For example, think of:

  • reducing impacts on nature and/or restoring and strengthening nature in the North Sea;
  • integrating the wind farm into the energy system of the Netherlands, for example by:
    • linking the wind farm to the development of demand on land, such as for hydrogen;
    • alleviating the overload on the electricity grid.

Developers opinions

RVO and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate asked developers of offshore wind farms in advance for their opinions about the various tender procedures. Current market conditions were also a topic of discussion. This showed that most developers are in favour of a comparative test (with a financial offer).

Financial risk for developers increases

Developers indicate that current market conditions for offshore wind energy are very challenging. This is due, for example, to higher costs and uncertain returns, because the demand for electricity does not match the development of offshore wind energy.

Research agency Afry conducted research into market conditions on behalf of the Ministry. The agency concludes that these continue to deteriorate. The increasing difference between expected revenues and costs of an offshore wind farm increases financial risk for developers. A comparative test with a focus on qualitative goals instead of just a financial offer (auction) is therefore the best option. Another option is a permit procedure with a subsidy for the wind farm to be built.

The permit procedure takes these market conditions into account as much as possible.

Location of the IJmuiden Ver Gamma and Nederwiek I Wind Farm Sites

Site size

The previous permits, for IJmuiden Ver Wind Farm Sites Alpha and Beta, were each for a wind farm of 2 GW. Due to the deteriorated market conditions, the permit procedure for IJmuiden Ver Wind Farm Site Gamma and Nederwiek Wind Farm Site I may also be open to site sizes of 1 GW. One site of 2 GW and 2 sites of 1 GW is also an option. RVO expects more clarity on this around the summer.

Height of wind turbines

However, there is already more clarity about the maximum tip height of wind turbines. A maximum tip height of 304.8 metres will probably apply to the wind turbines in IJmuiden Ver Gamma and Nederwiek I. The tip height is the highest point that the rotor blades reach.

Want to know more?

Commissioned by:
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
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