Netherlands Plans to Develop 70 GW Offshore Wind Energy by 2050

Netherlands has set a target to build 70 GW of offshore wind energy by 2050, 50 GW of which is planned to be completed until 2040. In addition to power generation, the Dutch Government also plans some of the offshore wind power to be used for large scale green hydrogen production in the North Sea. The government has started working on having 21 GW of offshore wind to be operational by the end of this decade, which is equal to around 75% of the Netherlands’ current electricity consumption.

The government stated that in order to make the industry and society in the country more sustainable, offshore wind energy must continue to grow significantly after 2030, which is why plans are being made for the maximum that is thought to be needed.

From 2030, the government plans to build offshore wind farms hundreds of kilometers away from the coast in the North Sea. The Government said it wanted to develop large-scale energy hubs at sea in these remote areas and, as a result, not all future wind farms will need to be connected separately to the onshore electricity grid.

The government plans to utilize energy hubs built far offshore by linking several wind farms together and transporting energy they produce to onshore partly as electricity and partly as hydrogen. The hydrogen produced will be used by the industry to switch from gas.

Connections with other North Sea countries can also be made via the hubs, which will contribute to security of supply.

The government’s 2050 target was announced last week, shortly after the nine members, including the Netherlands, of the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) agreed to install at least 260 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2050. That number represents more than 85% of the EU-wide ambition to reach 300 GW by the same year.

“Earlier this year, we made firm plans for 2030. We are now also laying down an ambitious plan up to 2050. This gives us the space to look further ahead and work carefully”, the Netherlands’ Minister for Climate and Energy Jetten said.

“70 gigawatts of power is very ambitious and in the coming years we will look at exactly how many gigawatts are needed. This gives us the opportunity to sustainably electrify a large part of the Netherlands and to generate green hydrogen for industry, for example.”

The Dutch government underlined that the potential ecological effects of these offshore wind farms will be looked at carefully.

Sufficient space in the North Sea must also be available for other activities such as fishing and shipping, and the Government is investigating how all interests can go hand in hand through the North Sea Programme.

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