"Local impact, global leadership"

Local impact and global leadership in European wind: what the world can learn from the Dutch approach to wind energy

The WindEurope Conference and Exhibition will take place in Amsterdam later this month โ€“ and the Netherlands is an ideal location for this international event: as wind stakes a claim to ever more of the globe’s energy mix, the historical land of windmills is currently blazing a trail in wind power innovation.

With 3.4 GW installed capacity, the Netherlands is now firmly established as a key market for wind energy. It is also one of only seven member states to have a renewable target post-2020 (16% by 2023, 3.5 GW offshore fully grid-connected).

Onshore wind has developed to such an extent that 100% of Dutch trains now run on wind energy. At the same time, the Dutch offshore industry is undergoing a transition from oil and gas towards a more renewables-based energy supply. Knowledge gained over decades in such areas as deep sea drilling and offshore rig construction is now increasingly being harnessed for the construction of offshore wind farms. In combination with the Government’s planning, with auctions for 700 MW/year, this knowhow has been instrumental in the industry’s dramatic cost reduction achievement. This has led to dramatic news stories such as the May 2017 opening of the Gemini wind park, the world’s second largest wind farm, off the Northern coast of the Netherlands. This wind farm alone will provide 13 percent of the country’s electricity needs and will account for 25 percent of its wind power.

The Dutch wind sector is also using market innovations to unlock new opportunities for the industry: just last week, Microsoft signed a corporate renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) for all of the energy produced at the 180 MW Wieringermeer wind farm.

In terms of policy, industry and market initiatives, the Netherlands is an example to Europe and the rest of the world. To find out more about these exciting developments, don’t miss the conference session on Dutch wind power at the WindEurope Conference and Exhibition this November.

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