The Dutch government released an ambitious new plan that calls for nearly doubling the country’s plans for installed offshore wind power generation by 2030. The new plans look to expand the areas available for development in the North Sea to support the Netherlands’ near-term goal for reducing emissions and will be further supplemented with longer-term efforts beyond 2030.
The total installed capacity of offshore wind power in the Netherlands in 2021 is around 2.5 gigawatts and should increase to at least 4.5 GW by 2023, according to the government’s official website. This is part of an overall wind plan that projected 11 GW of installed capacity by 2030. This would account for 8.5 percent of all the energy in the Netherlands and 40 percent of the current electricity consumption.
The revision to the North Sea Program expands on the eight areas currently designated for the development of offshore wind farms. Some of the current search areas are being added to the plan with the government expecting that there will be development in both the previously identified zones as well as the new ones that it adding to the plan.
The near-term development is focused on the Borssele Wind Farm Zone, which was the first zone developed approximately 14 miles off the northern coast. A total of five projects are planned with two due by 2023 each adding 0.7 GW in capacity. Three additional wind farms are planned approximately 11 miles off the southern coast and this will be followed between 2024 and 2030 by the development of wind farms further out to sea in the west and north of the Netherlands.
The revision to the master plan calls for an additional 8 GW of capacity to be built in the eastern zones. A further 2 GW would be developed in the northern zone while 0.7 GW would be added in the southern zone.
The total plan calls for an additional 10.7 GW of wind power generation added to the overall plan by 2030. If all the projects proceed, the country would now have a total generating capacity of over 22 GW in place by 2030.
The government has opened a public comment period running till the end of 2021 on the plan to expand the zones. The current timeline calls for the adoption of the revised plan by March 2022.
In announcing its new efforts, the Netherlands says that anticipated the country will require at least 38 GW of installed offshore wind power generating capacity by 2050.