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Wind Energy in The Netherlands

2017 wind energy numbers

The Netherlands is making strides toward the country’s renewable energy targets: 14% renewable energy sources (RES) by 2020 and 16% RES by 2023 of total energy demand.

In 2017, the new subsidy-free auction system was opened for subsidy-free applications for the Wind Farm Site I (350 MW) and II (350 MW) of Hollandse Kust Zuid. These tenders will be decided in March 2018. This system is a result of the successful previous tenders (Borssele I, II, III, and IV), where already record low prices for offshore wind energy have been realized.

This means that by the end of the year, 1,482 MW offshore are under construction or nearly under construction: Borssele I/II, 752 MW to be realized by Ørsted; Borssele III/IV, 732MW to be realized by Blauwwind); and the aforementioned 700 MW at Hollandse Kust Zuid.

To learn more about wind energy in the Netherlands, please read their chapter in the IEA Wind TCP 2017 Annual Report.



Total wind power capacity is 4,200 MW.


Wind power capacity in The Netherlands increased by 81 MW in 2017.


The Netherlands produces 10.58 TWh from wind energy, which accounts for 8,8% of the country’s electricity consumption.

National Targets

Since 2013, land-based targets for 2020 have been individually set per province. On average, provinces have reached 54% of their 2020 targets, varying between 8% in Drenthe and 75% in Flevoland. The general speed of implementation is concerning, as there is an average of only 200-MW increase per year over the last five to ten years. Hollandse Kust Zuid will be decided in March 2018, and applications for this tender will be ranked according six criteria:

  • Criterion 1: the knowledge and experience of the parties involved (maximum score: 10)
  • Criterion 2: the quality of the design for the wind farm (maximum score: 10)
  • Criterion 3: the wind farm capacity (maximum score: 10)
  • Criterion 4: the social costs (maximum score: 10)
  • Criterion 5: the quality of the identification and analysis of the risks (maximum score: 20)
  • Criterion 6: the quality of the measures to ensure cost-efficiency (maximum score: 40)

Progress & Operational Details

The numbers in installed wind capacity do not reflect the real wind energy progress being made in the Netherlands. The apparent standstill in land-based deployment does not show what is going on in the field, where in 2017 a record number of new turbines (1,810 MW) were applied for.

The scaling up of existing wind farms has led to a temporary increase in operational turbines being dismantled. Offshore, there are five 700-MW wind farms being tendered and the decisions for the tenders were being made during 2017. The land-based capacity factor in 2017 was 24.0%, which is slightly above the last 10-year average capacity factor. Offshore, the capacity factor was 44.1%.

National RDD Priorities and Budget

Since 2012, R&D programs for wind energy in the Netherlands have focused only on offshore wind energy. The Top Consortia for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI Wind Offshore Wind) coordinates these programs, representing the R&D community and the industrial sector.

In 2017, one R&D tender was specifically dedicated to offshore wind with a budget of 4.7 million EUR (5.6 million USD). Nine projects have been granted. Most of these have an industrial research profile or are working closely with knowledge institutes.

Two general renewable energy programs accept land-based wind R&D projects. Altogether, 18 applications were approved totaling 13.4 million EUR subsidy (16.1 million USD).

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