A climate agreement being hammered out in the Netherlands is expected to see more offshore wind capacity installed in Dutch waters, over and above the level already set out in a recent Offshore Wind Energy Roadmap.
Sources in the Netherlands said progress on a climate agreement has advanced significantly in recent days. It is expected to see the Netherlands reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 49% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, and see renewable energy providing at least 75% of electricity used in the country by 2030. Targets for offshore wind, onshore wind and solar power are expected to be raised as a result.
The highly ambitious agreement which should be finalised by the end of 2018 has support from across the spectrum of Dutch political parties and will see offshore wind plans beefed up significantly, well beyond the level announced in the roadmap. An outline agreement has the backing of seven political parties said to hold 113 of 150 seats in the Dutch parliament.
Speaking to exclusively to OWJ, Netherlands Wind Energy Association director Berend Potjer said it now seemed likely that plans to build 1 GW of offshore wind capacity per year will be scaled-up to around 2 GW per annum.
The exact amount by which offshore wind targets are raised will depend on demand for electricity from renewable sources and on ongoing discussions as part of the climate agreement involving industry and the transport sector. Other forms of climate abatement such as carbon capture and storage are also on the table.
As recently highlighted by OWJ, the roadmap set out plans for the further development of offshore wind energy, including an additional 7 GW between 2023 and 2030. Considering the windfarms that have already been built and those that will be built between 2019 and 2023 under the current tender scheme, the government aimed to achieve an aggregate installed Dutch offshore wind capacity of approximately 11.5 GW by 2030.
The roadmap specified which windfarm zones will be released for development in the Dutch sector of the North Sea, when this will occur, the projected generation capacity of these zones and when they will enter operation. Windfarms to be developed in the coming years will be in three windfarm zones: Holland Coast (West), North of the Wadden Sea Islands, and IJmuiden Far Offshore (IJmuiden Ver).
Assuming the use of 10 MW turbines in upcoming projects, the roadmap called for around 700 more offshore wind turbines in Dutch waters. Mr Potjer said progress on the climate agreement is likely to mean that many more turbines will now be installed (or perhaps larger turbines specified) to significantly boost offshore wind capacity.
Once an agreement has been reached and has become policy, the government will look at the offshore wind concessions that have been set out so far in order to determine how to meet higher targets, Mr Potjer said. Depending on demand, this could create a requirement to significantly increase capacity from the zones already outlined, or, potentially, create new ofshore wind zones.
As highlighted above, additional renewable energy capacity in the form of onshore wind and solar power is also expected to be agreed as a result of the climate agreement. Onshore, the process of determining how much wind and solar capacity is built and where it is built will take into account targets established or being formulated by municipalities and provinces.