Highlights onshore wind in the Netherlands 2014-2020

In the Dutch Energy Agreement (Energieakkoord) from 2013, a target was agreed of 6,000 MW of onshore wind energy by 2020. The target was only met by 70% as became clear of the 2020 edition of the Monitor Wind op Land which was presented to the House of Representatives yesterday. Being the last monitoring report as part of the Energy Agreement, a summary of the highlights that have been monitored between 2014 and 2020 was also provided.

It was already clear a few years ago that the target of 6 GW by 2020 would not be met. In 2020, 643 MW of onshore wind-powered capacity was realised, according to this monitoring report. This brings the total realised capacity at the end of 2020 to 4,177 MW. This is about 70% of the target. Large and medium-sized projects that contributed to the added capacity include the Prinses Ariane (North Holland), N33, AVRI/Deil (Gelderland) and Kabeljauwbeek (North Brabant) wind farms.

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Operational onshore wind capacity per province at the end of 2020. Percentage achieved of 2020 target. Source: RVO

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency summarised the major developments in onshore wind in the Netherlands between 2014 and 2020 on the basis of the annual Monitoring reports in an info graphic. It shows, among others, the following increases:

  • Share of wind energy in the total electricity consumption: from 4.6% to 8.8%;
  • Total number of wind turbines: from 1,954 to 2,112;
  • Total installed capacity: from 2,479 to 4,177;
  • Rotor diameter: from 94 metres to 123 metres;
  • Turbine power: from 3 to 3.8 MW;
  • Turbine tip height: from 144 metres to 187 metres;
  • Electricity production per turbine: from 8.1 GWh to 12.9 GWh;
  • Cooperative wind energy capacity: from 71 MW to 230 MW.

In addition, between 2014 and 2020 the cost price of onshore wind energy fell by 42% from € 89 to € 52 per MWh. Download the full info graphic and report here (only available in Dutch).

6,665 MW installed capacity expected at the end of 2023

In the Climate Agreement, which includes a target of 35 TWh of renewable electricity by 2030, it has been agreed that the agreements made previously, including those in the Energy Agreement, will be continued in order to prevent stagnation in practice. Based on the status of the projects in the 2020 monitoring report, it is estimated that in the period 2021-2023 a further 2,488 MW of wind capacity could be realised, which means that by the end of 2023 there could be 6,665 MW of installed wind capacity. These are projects that are now irrevocable, have SDE+ awarded, and for which agreements have been made about grid connection. At the same time, on 1 July, the Regional Energy Strategy (RES) regions delivered their Regional Energy Strategies 1.0, which also include new search areas for wind.

The now operational capacity, together with all wind farms that are in preparation, adds up to 7,860 MW. This means that the additional project capacity compared to the previous monitor has increased by 471 MW.

Consequences of recent Council of State ruling on licensing process

It is still uncertain whether this additional project capacity will be realised in full, as some of the projects are still in the preliminary phase. The consequences of the recent ruling of the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State of 30 June 2021 on the environmental assessment of wind turbines for the progress of wind energy projects are also uncertain. The process of obtaining a permit is expected to become more complex and to take longer. Source: EZK

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