According to Zervos and Kjaer (2008), after a period during which support was high, but markets quite open, a system was introduced in 2003 that established suf- ficient incentives for domestic production of electricity using different renewable energy sources. Although successful in encouraging investments, this system, based on premium tariffs, was abandoned in August 2006 due to budgetary constraints.
Political uncertainty concerning renewable energy support in the Netherlands is compounded by an increase in the overall energy demand. Progress toward the use of renewable energy sources for the generation of electricity targets is slow, even though growth in absolute figures is still significant.
The use of renewable energy sources for the generation of electricity policy in the Netherlands is based on the following strands:
• Source-specific premium tariffs on top of the market price. These tariffs were introduced in 2003 and are adjusted annually. Tradable certificates are used to claim the FiTs. The value of these certificates equals the level of the FiTs. Due to budgetary reasons, most of the FiTs were set at zero in August 2006;
• An energy tax exemption for the use of renewable energy sources for the generation of electricity was in place until January 1, 2005;
• A guarantee of origin system was introduced simply by renaming the former certificate system.
In its climate policy, the Netherlands set a global target of 10 % of renewables by 2020. The Netherlands intends to exceed its 2020 renewable target and to reach 16 % in renewable energy consumption. This is a slight increase compared to the country’s 14 % target under the EU renewables directive (see Table 5.24), but will mean a significant increase in the country’s wind power given that only 2.4 GW of energy are currently provided by wind farms. To reach the overall target, the Dutch plan estimates that 37 % of renewable electricity is required. Two-thirds of this sec- torial target is to be met by onshore and offshore wind power, which will supply 10 and 14 % of total electricity consumption, respectively, according to the approved plan. Two offshore licensing phases are scheduled to deliver almost 6 GW of new offshore capacity, 5,178 MW of which should be operational by 2020.17
It is important to highlight the following: The Netherlands plans to boost off- shore wind farms fourfold and curb energy use as it seeks to revive a faltering economy and secure future power supplies. According to government plans, the country has the intention to increase to 4,450 MW wind farms at sea by 2023 from about 1,000 MW installed or under development currently. This plan will increase the country offshore wind market, after previous decision of the governments to turn away from the use of wind power for the generation of electricity because of its high cost.18 The agreement will also help it meet a separate EU target of getting 14 % of energy from renewables by 2020, after being behind other EU member state goals.
In the case of onshore wind farms, the action plan aims to triple installed capacity to 6 GW. Onshore build-out is scheduled to pick up from 2012 to 2015 with net annual additions varying between 415 and 800 MW. From 2016, new onshore additions are forecast to stabilize at 320 MW net per year. New offshore capacity is expected by 2013, with annual build-out reaching its cruising speed at 800 MW net from 2016 onward.
The wind power installed in the country at the end of 2013 reached 2,245 MW (see Table 5.25). In the past 13 years, the wind power-installed capacity increased each year. The highest increase was reached in 2002 (41.8 %) Windmills have historically played a major part in the Netherlands by pro- viding an alternative to water-driven mills. In December 2009, a total of 1,879 onshore wind turbines were installed in the Netherlands, compromising a total of 1,993 MW. The largest onshore wind farm is located in Eemshaven in Groningen, in the North of the Netherlands. Other large wind farms are located in Delfzijlzuid, Lelystad, Terneuzen, and Biddinghuizen. Most wind power is produced in the province of Flevoland. At the end of 2013, a total of 439 wind farms were operating in the country.
In addition to the wind farms built onshore, two wind farms have been built out in the sea. In 2006, the Egmond aan Zee offshore wind farm was built, totaling 108 MW, sufficient to light 100,000 houses. The project cost US$272 million and is cooperatively owned by Royal Dutch Shell and the Dutch utility company NUON. In 2008, a second, somewhat larger offshore wind park was built: the Princess Amalia wind farm, totaling 120 MW, sufficient to power 125,000 homes and help the Netherlands cut 225,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The wind park was developed off the coast of IJmuiden at a total cost of US$522.3 million.
Generation of Electricity Using Wind Energy
The evolution of the generation of electricity using wind energy in the Netherlands during the period 2008–2012 is shown in Fig. 5.40.
According to Fig. 5.40, the generation of electricity using wind power as fuel in the Netherlands during the period 2008–2012 increased 16.5 %. It is expected that
the generation of electricity using wind power in the country will continue increasing during the coming years, particularly after the decision of the government to promote the use of this type of energy in order to reduce further CO2 emission.