The Netherlands Plans to Nearly Double 2030 Offshore Wind Target

The Netherlands plans to develop additional 10.7 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 in order to meet the EU’s current goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 55 per cent by 2030 compared to the 1990 levels.

The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management has now issued the Additional Draft North Sea Programme 2022 – 2027 which increases the country’s offshore wind target from the current 11.5 GW to 22.2 GW of operating offshore wind capacity by 2030.

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The Additional Draft North Sea Programme 2022 – 2027 designates wind farm zones in the North Sea in the context of the current climate targets for 2030 and the EU’s ambition to tighten them, with a view to reducing CO2 emissions to 55 per cent of 1990 levels by 2030. The Netherlands’ current CO2 reduction target is 49 per cent by 2030 compared to the 1990 levels.

The Additional Draft North Sea Programme 2022 – 2027 replaces chapter 9 of the Draft North Sea Programme 2022 – 2027, which was available for inspection from March to September 2021 as an appendix to the Draft National Water Programme 2022 – 2027.

While the Draft North Sea Programme determined the search areas for offshore wind energy (eight areas in total), the Additional Draft North Sea Programme designates some of these search areas as offshore wind farm zones, the Ministry said.

According to the Additional Draft, the new offshore wind capacity would be developed within the newly designated, as well as the existing zones.

The newly designated zones 1,2, and 5 East would accommodate 8 GW of offshore wind capacity, the IJmuiden Ver North 2 GW, and the remaining 700 MW zone was identified within the southern part of Hollandse Kust (west) area.

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The Ministry opened a public comment period for the Additional Draft North Sea Programme 2022 – 2027 and the accompanying Environmental Impact Statement on 9 November. Interested parties can share their feedback on the presented plans and the documents provided by 20 December.

The Additional Draft North Sea Programme 2022 – 2027 is expected to be adopted in March 2022 as part of the North Sea Programme 2022 – 2027, which is appended to the National Water Programme 2022 – 2027.

Once the North Sea Programme has been adopted, it will be revised once again to determine offshore wind zones to be developed after 2030. The Netherlands expects that the country will need at least 38 GW of operating offshore wind capacity to reach the climate-neutral status by 2050. This implies that the Dutch government plans to develop a minimum of 16 GW of offshore wind capacity between 2030 and 2050.