The Netherlands Doubles Its Wind Capacity in the North Sea

The Netherlands Doubles Its Wind Capacity in the North Sea

The Dutch government is investing billions of euros in new offshore wind farms and the greening of its industry, with 10GW of additional wind capacity to be created by 2030, representing a doubling of current levels.

An additional 10GW of offshore wind capacity will be created in the Dutch sector of the North Sea, equivalent to 750 to 800 enormous – almost 300 metres high – wind turbines. Every gigawatt capacity extra produces as much power as is used by one million households. This huge increase in wind energy generation in the North Sea will be used to help green Dutch industry, which is sorely needed if the Netherlands is to meet climate targets for 2030 and beyond.

New Generation of Wind Turbines

The Netherlands currently has offshore wind farms off the coast of the province of Noord-Holland, and new wind farms are under construction, for example off the coast of Zeeland. However, stricter European climate targets mean that considerably more wind power is required than the 11GW currently accounted for in Dutch policy, which is why the Dutch government is now planning to double its total offshore wind capacity.

Doubling wind energy generation will require the construction of several new wind farms. The current generation of offshore wind turbines produces 10MW per turbine. In the Dutch North Sea, this means that – based on current technology – approximately 1,000 extra wind turbines will be needed.

However, new turbines are generating increasingly more capacity. For example, the Danish manufacturer Vestas is developing a wind turbine that can generate 15MW, and a prototype will be built at its own test centre on Jutland later this year. The expectation is that wind turbines that generate between 12MW and 15MW will soon become the norm.

Princess Amalia Wind Farm, off the coast of the Netherlands. (Courtesy: Eneco)