Wind in Netherlands

Installed capacity2.33GW

During 2001 the Dutch Government set new renewable energy targets in order to comply with its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. These targets were confirmed during 2005 but have been subsequently amended so that currently the objective is for renewable energy to provide 20% of total energy supply in 2020. To achieve this target approximately 4 GW onshore and 6 GW offshore wind capacity must be installed. It is still expected that in 2010 9% of electricity generation will be met by renewable energy.

Until 2001, wind capacity had been increasing only slowly, with just 485 MW being installed by yearend. Thereafter, additions to capacity accelerated, averaging some 250 MW each year between 2002 and 2008. However, after a certain amount of decommissioning the net increase to capacity in 2008 was approximately 400 MW. At year-end total installed capacity stood at 2 149 MW of which 1 921 MW was onshore. At 4 260 GWh, wind supplied 47.5% of electricity generation during 2008.

Early in 2002 the consortium Noordzeewind (Nuon Renewables and Shell Wind Energy) was chosen to build a demonstration Near Shore Wind Farm (NSW) off the coast at Egmond aan Zee. The NSW is designed to have a life span of 20 years, at the end of which it will be dismantled. The intention is that the experience gained will greatly assist the development of further offshore installations, both larger in size and located in deeper waters. The first electricity from the 36 x 3 MW wind farm was supplied in October 2006. The research programme will last until 2012.

In order for the Government to double the onshore wind capacity and to commit 450 MW offshore wind, both by 2011, it will be necessary to remove barriers and to put in place various conducive measures. The former will involve government departments working together through the ‘Administrative Agreement National Development Wind Energy’ to solve the historical environmental problems of siting the turbines. The latter will involve Ministries applying the environmental and financing aspects of a Scenario Plan published in mid-2008.

Along with nine other European governments (Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the UK), the Netherlands is part of the European Offshore Supergrid® project. The aim is to establish a renewable energy electricity grid, in which the wind turbines belonging to the participant countries would be fully integrated.