Policy & targets

Climate agreement

Under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the Dutch government is aiming for a minimum of 55% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 compared to 1990 and for zero greenhouse gas emissions from the energy supply by 2050. Wind energy, and offshore wind in particular, will play a decisive role in reaching carbon neutrality and combating climate change.

Offshore wind

On the basis of previous cabinet decisions and the Climate Agreement, the current Offshore Wind Energy Roadmap 2030 provides for approximately 11 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. Six offshore wind zones are planned to be developed between 2015 and 2030.

Three of these zones are already built, under construction or granted development rights. Details on these wind farm can be found on our page Offshore Wind Farms.

– Borssele 1-5 – now operational

– Hollandse Kust (zuid) (1.5 MW) – Developments rights won by Vattenfall. Now under construction.

– Hollandse Kust (noord) (750 MW) – Development rights won by CrossWind. Now under construction.

The remaining three zones are yet to be tendered:

– Hollandse Kust (west) (1.4 GW) – The tenders for Hollandse Kust (west) Wind Farm Sites VI and VII will be issued in Q1 2022.

– Ten noorden van de Waddeneilanden (I) (700 MW). A tender to develop this zone is scheduled to open in 2022.

– IJmuiden Ver (4 GW) – Four zones. A tender to develop IJVWFS I and II is scheduled to open in 2023. A tender to develop IJWFS III and IV is scheduled to open in 2025.

2030 and beyond

Europe’s CO2 reduction target for 2030 has been further tightened. As a consequence, additional offshore wind farms will be needed before 2030. But also for the period after that. By 2050, a minimum of 38 GW of wind energy will have to be realized at sea, as calculated in the North Sea Energy Outlook.

This means that in the coming decades, on top of the approximately 11 GW of wind energy at sea in 2030, there will still be room for approximately 27 GW of extra wind energy at sea.

On 19 March 2021, a draft North Sea Policy 2022-2027 was sent to the Lower House as part of the National Water Plan. The North Sea policy defines the general frameworks for (spatial) coordination between the users of the sea themselves and in relation to the marine ecosystem. In this draft, the government has identified 8 new areas that may qualify for designation as wind energy areas. Research will be done into some of the possible effects of new wind farms.

The cabinet is expected to publish an additional draft North Sea Policy 2022-2027 in October 2021, which includes these wind energy areas. In March 2022, the cabinet will adopt the definitive National Water Plan, including the North Sea Program 2022-2027.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) provides more information.

Onshore wind

It has been agreed in the Climate Agreement that the Netherlands will generate at least 35 TWh of sustainable electricity onshore by 2030 using renewable sources such as wind and sun. The Energy Agreement (Energieakkoord) for sustainable growth states that the Netherlands must have 6,000 MW of onshore wind power capacity by 2020.
By the end of 2020, the total onshore wind capacity reached 4,100 MW.

Regional Energy Strategies

The Netherlands has been divided into 30 regions, each of which is currently working on their own Regional Energy Strategy (RES). In the RES, each region states what contribution they will make to the national objective and how they will achieve this. Support for the regions is provided by the National RES Program.

Each region had to submit a draf RES in 2020. In an exploration of the draft RESs, Statistics Netherlands (CBS)-RES provided an estimate for renewable electricity production in 2030 with a bandwidth of 31.2 to 45.7 TWh, and a mean value of 38.2 TWh. In other words, the target is feasible but not set in stone.

The final RES are to be submitted by 1 July, 2021.

SDE++

The SDE++ (subsidy sustainable energy transition) is intended for companies and organisations (non-profit and otherwise) in sectors such as industry, mobility, electricity, agriculture and the built environment. The SDE++ expands on the former Stimulation of sustainable energy production (SDE+) scheme. This new scheme not only stimulates sustainable energy production but also CO2-reduction. In this way, the government wants to ensure that the energy transition in the Netherlands remains feasible and affordable.

The SDE++ 2021 is open from 21 September to 14 October. A budget of € 5 billion is available.

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