750MW of new Dutch capacity by 2020

Lack of finance restricting further 2GW

The Netherlands will continue to trail behind its northern European neighbours in offshore wind capacity, unless the next Dutch government prioritises it and authorises additional financial support.

Just three new offshore wind projects, with 750MW combined capacity, are due to come online by 2020, and even these are not certain to be built.

The Netherlands will fail to meet its 2020 EU renewable energy target of 14%, unless significant policy changes are introduced, says a report published today.

Slow progress in the development of offshore wind is one of several factors behind the report’s conclusion that Dutch renewable energy supply will reach just 9% by 2020, based on current policies. The research was carried out by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) and energy research institute, ECN.

Renewable energy currently accounts for 4% of Dutch electricity supply. Its existing offshore wind capacity is 228MW, split between the Egmond aan Zee (108MW) and Princess Amalia (128MW) wind farms.

The three further projects, which would together contribute 750MW, have been permitted and awarded financial subsidy. Two are being developed by Typhoon Capital; the third is an Eneco project.

None of the three have yet secured construction finance, said Sander Lensink, senior adviser on renewable energy policy at Dutch energy research institute, ECN, speaking with Windpower Offshore.

Over 2GW of further offshore wind capacity has also been permitted, but not yet awarded subsidy. Unless new government funds are made available, these projects will not proceed.

It is the high cost of offshore wind that has slowed the sector's development in Dutch waters, said Lensink. While many of the country’s political parties are keen to see achievement of the 14% renewable energy target by 2020, there is also strong political support for economic conservatism, making it harder to justify financially support for offshore wind, he added. September elections may result in a clearer picture of future Dutch energy policy.

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