Offshore wind in our sails right now

by: Hans van Cleef

020915-Offshore-wind-in-our-sails-right-now_EN.pdf (3 MB)

Climate change and the greenhouse effect are currently the main drivers behind the need to replace
‘conventional’ energy generation methods. As part of this, carbon emission reduction will be high on the
agenda at the climate summit in Paris at the end of this year. The phasing out of nuclear energy has
gained new urgency in the wake of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima (Japan) and this too is necessitating
adjustments to the European energy policy. Nuclear energy is gradually being replaced with other fossil
fuels such as gas as well as renewables. The increased tension between Russia and the European Union
over the past year has given Europe an additional energy ambition, i.e. to reduce its dependence on
energy imports.

The upshot is that offshore wind farms are springing up all over Europe, with the United Kingdom and Germany
as the absolute frontrunners. This is giving an enormous boost to the entire supply chain within the offshore wind
industry. In the Netherlands too, the construction of offshore wind farms is set to accelerate in the years ahead.
December 2015 will see the start of the first tender for Borssele I and II, two locations off the Zeeland coast at
Borssele with a total capacity of 700 MW. The Dutch government plans to put out tenders for 3,500 MW of wind
capacity over the coming five years.

In this report, we will provide an update on the status of offshore wind energy in Europe and look at offshore wind
initiatives in countries situated around the North Sea, with a special focus on the Netherlands and the upcoming
tenders. We will also address the anticipated reduction in the costs of offshore wind turbines as well as the latest
trends in wind energy. Finally, we will discuss the status of the offshore industry and the related implications for the
Dutch economy.