Energy and climate change

Wind energy capacity, 1990-2012

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The wind energy capacity increased by 117 megawatts in 2012, bringing the total capacity to 2,433 megawatts.

Most wind turbines in Flevoland

Looking at the distribution of wind turbines on land, it is clear that most are in the coastal provinces. This is not surprising, given the higher wind resource along the coast. However, the wind resource is not the only factor to be taken into consideration in the positioning of wind turbines. Ideas about the way in which they fit into the surrounding landscape also play an important part and this explains why, despite the fact that it is not the most suitable province in terms of wind resource, Flevoland has the most wind turbines.

Subsidies crucial for new wind turbines

Electricity production from wind energy is still more expensive than from natural gas, coal or nuclear energy. Subsidies for wind energy are therefore crucial to investors in wind turbines. Wind turbine owners received 324 million euros for electricity production in 2012 (Agentschap NL, 2013).

Wind at sea

The first wind farm at sea was brought into use in 2006. The second followed in 2008. Together, these two wind farms are responsible for about one tenth of the wind capacity and one sixth of the electricity production from wind energy. Wind turbines at sea therefore produce more electricity per unit capacity than wind turbines on land. However, wind turbines at sea are much more expensive. All in all, therefore, electricity from wind turbines at sea is more expensive than that from wind turbines on land (Lensink et al., 2011). A subsidy of over 700 MW has been awarded under the Sustainable Energy Incentive (SDE) scheme for new wind parks at sea (Agentschap NL, 2013). In the Energy Agreement (SER, 2013) an ambitious target for wind energy at sea was agreed: 4,450 MW in 2023. This implies subsidies for 3,450 MW extra. A call for tenders will start in 2015, so energy generation can start in 2019.

Future wind on land plans

The Dutch government states in the Energy Report 2011 that it would like to achieve a wind capacity of 6,000 MW on land by 2020, including existing wind turbines. In December 2012, the provinces outlined an agreement on how they would like to divide this figure of 6,000 MW between them (IPO, 2012). The provinces are mainly involved in granting licenses for the wind turbines; subsidies remain a task for national government.


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Reference for this page

CBS, PBL, RIVM, WUR (2014). Wind energy capacity, 1990-2012 (indicator 0386, version 21 , 20 May 2014 ). Statistics Netherlands (CBS), The Hague; PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Hague; RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven; and Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen.

The Environmental Data Compendium is a partnership of CBS, PBL, RIVM and WUR.