The Dutch government has announced plans to realise new wind farms in the North Sea with a total additional capacity of 7 GW during the period 2024 to 2030. In addition to the 4.5 GW which will be installed up to and including 2023, this would increase the total installed capacity of offshore wind farms in the Dutch North Sea to 11.5 GW in 2030.

On 27 March 2018, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy sent a letter to Parliament which contains the key elements for an Offshore Wind Energy Roadmap for the period 2024 to 2030 (in English; in Dutch). In this letter the Minister, among others, indicated (i) the possible locations of wind farms with a total output of approximately 6.1 GW (a decision in respect of the remaining 0.9 GW, in order to achieve the total 7 GW, will be made at a later stage) and (ii) that the first tenders in respect of the additional 7 GW offshore wind capacity will start in 2020/2021.

The Minister also indicated that, as is the case in the previous and already scheduled Dutch offshore wind tenders, the Dutch government will carry out a leading role in respect of spatial decisions and preparatory studies and that it is intended that TenneT will connect the wind farms.

The below (translated) table, included in the Dutch version of the letter to Parliament, sets out the envisaged schedule of the Offshore Wind Energy Roadmap for the period 2024 to 2030.

According to the letter to Parliament, the Dutch government has started with the development, preparation and implementation of the key elements of the Roadmap as outlined in this letter. The most significant of the first activities the Dutch government shall undertake in this respect include: (i) the allotment of the wind farm zones into sites, (ii) further development of the design of the offshore grid by TenneT (including any possible alternatives), (iii) exploration of the connection points and corresponding routes for the offshore grid to land and (iv) update the Ecology and Cumulation Framework for offshore wind farms. After the conclusions have been laid down in, among others, a framework (ontwikkelkader) for offshore wind, the permit process for the wind farms and the relevant parts of the offshore grid will be initiated.

* Please note that the table included in the English version of the letter to Parliament seems to include a typo in the second row.