The world’s first offshore wind farms to be developed without the support of a public subsidy will be built by Vattenfall.
The Swedish firm has won a tender held by the Dutch government for licenses to build the twin Hollandse Kust Zuid offshore wind farms in the North Sea. The two 350 MW wind farms are due to be on-line by 2022.
The tender was one of the first in the world to offer a zero-subsidy tender for wind energy, in which only bids that required no government support could compete. Vattenfall beat bids from Statoil and Innogy to win the tender.
Last year, Germany held a zero-subsidy offshore wind tender, in which Orsted and EnBW won licenses to build wind capacity without federal support.
Those projects are due to be on-line in 2024-25, several years later that the Hollandse Kust Zuid projects.
“Thanks to drastically lower costs, offshore wind farms are now being constructed without subsidy,” Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Eric Wiebes said. “Innovation and competition are making sustainable energy cheaper and cheaper, and much faster than expected, too.”
The Hollandse Kust was the third of five tenders being held by the Dutch in a push to create 3500 MW of offshore wind power by 2023.
WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “This news shows zero-subsidy bids are possible for some developers in some markets not least where governments take on and manage a share of the project risk.
“In this instance the Dutch government taking care of the grid connection is a significant factor. Plus the Dutch government has successfully minimised the risk linked to offshore wind by giving clear visibility about future market volumes. And the new Dutch government has committed to bring in a carbon floor price at national level which will help the business case for offshore wind.
“Wind energy is showing again and again that it can deliver ever more capacity for less cash. That’s the key message other governments should take from this: they should revise their ambition upwards in their national energy plans and offshore wind is a great way to help them do this”.