No subsidy required for Dutch offshore wind development

Netherlands Enterprise offshore windfarm
Netherlands Enterprise offshore windfarm

The Netherlands Enterprise agency has issued a tender for the construction and operation of two North Sea wind farms, without support from subsidies.
The tender period, running between 1-14 March, is for Hollandse Kust (zuid) III and IV areas in the Dutch North Sea. The winner will have the option of selling their electricity on the wholesale energy market, rather than relying on a fixed-revenue contract, as with subsidised farms.

If the tender period concludes without any offers, will reissue a tender, this time with subsidies.

In September last year, permits for Hollandse Kust (zuid) I and II were awarded to Vattenfall subsidy-free, and an agreement by Danish company Dong Energy to build two large windfarms, totalling 1.5GW, off Germany without support from government subsidies sets further precedent.

Three further sites have been designated for new windfarms in the Dutch North Sea, with the government outlining its intention to have 11.5GW of capacity by 2030.
Larger and more powerful turbines have brought down the levelised cost of energy (LCoE) from offshore wind farms considerably over the last few years, with recent developments having brought down the average monopile-weight-to-MW ratio by 36%, according to a February report by Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables. The report predicts that by 2027, turbine capex will drop by 36%, while the LCoE in Europe will fall by 67%, facilitating a sixfold increase in offshore wind capacity in the next decade.

The 2016 study How Large Are Global Fossil Fuel Subsidies? found that the global fossil fuels industries benefit from around 6.5% of global GDP, or approximately USD5trn, in annual subsidies according to researchers from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and University of California.