Netherlands Plans Offshore Wind Auctions to Double Capacity to 21 GW
The Dutch government confirmed its plans to double the Netherlands offshore wind energy generation capacity. When completed the new projects added to the currently installed and projects under development would represent approximately 75 percent of the country’s current energy consumption. The new wind farm plans are part of the Netherlands’ commitment with its neighboring countries to rapidly expand offshore energy in the North Sea.
“We want to make the North Sea our largest green energy source. That's a huge job,” said Rob Jetten, Minister for Climate and Energy. “The construction of a wind farm and the connection to the electricity grid takes several years, whereby we constantly keep an eye on the ecological impact. In order to achieve our goals for 2030, we are now making haste to get the wind farms up and running as quickly as possible.”
The Netherlands’ Council of Ministers confirmed the plans on June 10, determining where and when the additional wind farms will be placed at sea before 2030. The new plan calls for an additional 10.7 GW in nine lease areas mostly located in the northwest region of the Netherlands as well as one to the north further offshore in the North Sea. The timeline mapped out for the projects calls for the lease auctions to be finalized by 2024 with the first auctions in 2025. They project that the first of the additional projects will be generating by 2029 and with the last of the auctions expected in 2027, the additional capacity would be fully inline by 2030 or 2031.
Currently, with approximately 3GW generating, the Netherlands was already moving forward aggressively to expand its power generation from wind energy. Currently, the country has projects under construction or development that when completed will bring its total capacity to approximately 11 GW. The additional capacity in the new lease areas would bring the Netherlands to 21 GW by 2030.
In January, the government announced plans to increase its investment in renewable offshore energy production. They had announced plans for a new fund to support the development of the projects as well as exploring efforts such as using wind energy as part of projects to develop green hydrogen. Last week, they also discussed exploration efforts underway looking at co-location of offshore wind generation with carbon capture and store projects.
The Netherlands joined with Denmark, Germany, and Belgium agreeing to accelerate and expand efforts to build wind farms in the North Sea. Under an agreement reached in March 2022, the four countries are now targeting 65 gigawatts by 2030. The Netherlands will account for 21 gigawatts of this with the ultimate goal for a total capacity of 150 gigawatts in the North Sea before 2050.