Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Wind Country Notes
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, namely that renewable energy should provide 5% of total energy supply in 2010 and 10% in 2020, and 6% of electricity generation in 2005 and 9% in 2010.
In 2001 renewable energy had only a 1.3% share of overall energy consumption and 2.8% of electricity generation and it was felt that without further action future targets could not be met. Taking this into account, government policy attached a higher priority to those renewable energies which it was felt could make the greatest contribution: namely, offshore wind and biomass.
Until 2001, wind capacity had been increasing only slowly, with just 485 MW being installed by year-end. Thereafter, additions to capacity accelerated: 2002 and 2003 saw increases of 38% and 35% respectively and, although the rate of growth was lower in 2004 and 2005 (18% and 14% respectively), the turbines operational at end-year 2005 totalled 1 224 MW.
Study has shown that the available part of the Netherlands Exclusive Economic Zone (NEEZ) could support up to 6 000 MW of offshore wind capacity. The Government has built this figure, along with 1 500 MW of further onshore capacity, into its target that wind power should generate approximately 20% of domestic electricity demand by 2020. In the shorter term, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has agreed with the Dutch parliament that a maximum of 700 MW of offshore wind capacity should be in place by 2010.
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. Construction of NSW began during 2005, the final turbine was erected in August 2006 and the first electricity supplied in October 2006. The research programme will last until 2012.
Construction began on the 120 MW Q7 wind farm, some 23 km offshore from Ijmuiden, in late 2006. The project is being developed by Econcern, Energy Investments Holding and ENECO. It is expected that the first electricity from Q7 will be generated in early 2008.
In January 2007, it was announced that the EIA for WEOM's (Wind Energy Development Company) 270 MW offshore wind farm, Den Haag II, had been issued and was open for inspection.
Along with Germany and the UK, the Netherlands is part of the European Offshore Supergrid® project. Initially 10 GW, the Foundation Project is designed to test the feasibility of interconnecting 2 000 wind turbines and supplying electricity to the national grids of all three countries. Ultimately, it is proposed that the system could cover the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Irish Sea, the English Channel, the Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean.