Market Status: Netherlands - Offshore pace set to accelerate

As predicted this time last year, 2014 was quiet and slow in the Dutch wind-power sector, with only 141MW added, all of it onshore, to push cumulative capacity close to 3GW.

The Dutch target of 6GW of onshore wind by 2023 remains ambitious, although deals such as Google's to take the power from Eneco's 62MW project in Delfzijl for its new EUR600 million data centre in the north of the country show there is demand for more onshore capacity.

The pace of development, especially offshore, looks set to accelerate over the next few years. Eneco's 129MW Luchterduinen offshore project, using 3MW Vestas turbines, is scheduled for full commissioning in September; the 144MW nearshore Westermeerwind, with 3MW Siemens machines, will follow in early 2016. Northland Power's 600MW Gemini project, again using Siemens turbines, this time the 4MW model,should produce its first power in the same year before going fully online in 2017.

A further 3.5GW of offshore capacity, divided into five blocks of 700MW, is being offered for competitive tender over the next five years. If all goes according to plan, the Netherlands should have over 4.5GW of wind in the water by the end of 2023.