The Netherlands have been repeatedly accused of the lack of measures taken to achieve the common European objectives regarding the use of renewable energy sources.
In 2013 the government has committed itself to achieve by 2020 the 14% share of renewable energy in the overall energy balance, and by 2023 – 16%.
The construction of several Dutch wind farms in the North Sea will reduce this gap, and the Dutch government expects to play the leading role in Europe in the field of renewable energy in the future.
At the beginning of July 2016, the results of the bid for the construction of the world's largest offshore wind farm “Borssele” were announced, the installed capacity of the first part of this wind farm will be 700 MW (currently the largest is “London Array” with the capacity of 630 MW, and on average offshore wind farms have the capacity of 338 MW). The bid for the second part of the wind farm (also 700 MW) will be held in September 2016.
And all together, a total of five major wind farms for 3,500 MW will be launched by 2023.
“This will be sufficient to provide more than five million households with energy”, said the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp. “With the development of offshore wind farms we are building a new economic sector. The development of offshore wind farms has already created around 4,000 jobs in the Netherlands, such as in manufacturing, construction and research. This is expected to grow to 10,000 jobs by 2020.”
In addition to its record size, the wind farm will also be the cheapest in history. According to the bidding results, the “Borssele” is expected to be much cheaper than previously estimated. The Dutch government initially approved the market rate of 12.4 Euro cents per kWh, and the bidders could offer equal or more favorable price conditions. And as a result of fierce competition (a total of 38 bids were submitted), the Danish company Dong Energy has offered the lowest price of the contract: 7.27 Euro cents per kWh (until now the lowest bid for construction and operation of an offshore wind farm was 10.3 Euro cents per kWh – for a wind farm near the coast of Denmark).
Henk Kamp, also commented on the results of the bidding, “This is the unique progress. Worldwide it has never happened before that an offshore wind farm can be built at such a low cost. This reduction of cost of one kWh represents a major breakthrough in the transition to more sustainable energy.”
Dong Energy holds one of the leading positions in the wind power market in Europe. The company will use the 8-megawatt turbines for the Dutch offshore wind farms, unlike the majority of global manufacturers that use primarily turbines of 3 to 4 MW of installed capacity for marine areas.
The offshore wind farm “Borssele” is expected to be launched by mid-2020. It will be located at a distance of more than 22 km off the coast of the province of Zeeland (the Netherlands), and its total installed capacity will amount to 1,400 MW.
After that, the development of wind farms for another 2,100 MW off the coast of the provinces of South Holland and North Holland (the Netherlands) will begin in 2017.
Thus, the country is planning to provide the required share of RES in energy consumption through wind power.