The Netherlands

Wind Energy in the Netherlands

Netherlands.jpgThe Netherlands is making strides toward the country’s renewable energy targets: 14% renewable energy sources (RES) by 2020 and 16% RES by 2023 from total energy demand.

In 2016, two 700-MW offshore wind tenders set new trends in methodology and in cost-effectiveness. The result of tenders in June and December were 72.7 EUR/MWh (76.6 USD/MWh) and 54.5 EUR/MWh (57.4 USD/MWh) respectively. These tenders have set new offshore wind farm development standards for exploitation of the market to obtain very competitive prices.

The majority of new turbines were connected at the new Gemini offshore windfarm, (“The Twins,” two 300-MW). Land-based wind progressed at a lower rate, with a net increase of 215 MW in 2016.

Renewable Energy Targets

Since 2013, land-based targets for 2020 have been individually set per province. On average, provinces have reached 51% of their 2020 targets, varying between 8% in Drenthe and 75% in Flevoland. The general speed of implementation is concerning, as there is an average of only 200-MW increase per year over the last five to ten years.

Policies Supporting Development

In 2011, the Encouraging Sustainable Energy Production (SDE+) subsidy was introduced for renewable energy, excluding offshore wind. This operating grant fills the gap between the market price of energy and the cost of electricity, heat, or gas produced in the renewable energy market. Each generating technique has a unique maximum allowed base tariff, and the cheapest option is granted first.

Applications can be submitted for the SDE+ throughout the year. Applications completed earlier in the year receive a lower SDE+ subsidy (but a higher chance for grant approval). In 2016, the total SDE+ budget increased from 3.5 billion EUR (3.7 billion USD) to 9.0 billion EUR (9.5 billion USD) Two rounds of land-based SDE+ tendering were completed during the year.

Offshore, the Netherlands has moved from one-by-one deployment to a system of constant deployment. The country installed 3,500 MW of new capacity across two wind farm zones (Borssele and Hollandse Kust), which was broken down into five 700-MW tenders. Each tender consisted of two parcels of 330–350 MW each. This plan fosters a culture of innovation, technique, and approach, and aims for offshore wind costs to fall by 40% compared to 2014.