Energy Transition

The Dutch plan to build the world's biggest wind farm

A view of Statoil's Dudgeon offshore wind farm near Great Yarmouth, Britain. REUTERS/Darren Staples

A Dutch company is going to construct the world's largest offshore wind farm, complete with a floating island. Image: REUTERS/Darren Staples

Leanna Garfield
Reporter, Tech Insider
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Energy Transition?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Energy Transition is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Decarbonizing Energy

The Netherlands has a highly ambitious renewable-energy plan in the works.

The country hopes to build the world's largest offshore wind farm by 2027, along with a 2.3-square-mile artificial island to support it.

As The Guardian notes, the farm would sit at Dogger Bank, a windy and shallow site 78 miles off the East Yorkshire coast. It would deliver power to the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and later Belgium, Germany, and Denmark.

The new offshore wind farm will have the conversion equipment installed on site, unlike in the case of traditional farms
The new offshore wind farm will have the conversion equipment installed on site, unlike in the case of traditional farms Image: BI

What is TenneT's plan for building this offshore wind farm?

Offshore wind farms typically use expensive underwater cables that convert the turbines' electric current into a type that electricity grids can use. TenneT's island, however, would house equipment that would perform this conversion on-site, thereby allowing the farm to send electricity directly to the UK and Netherlands via less pricey cables.

According to TenneT, the Dutch electric company spearheading the project, putting additional equipment on the island would also allow the team to operate more turbines at a lower cost — and thus generate more power — than a traditional offshore wind farm.

A GE Haliade turbine at Deepwater Wind’s Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island reflects against a helicopter.Tyson Wheatley

Though the cost of offshore wind power is often higher than onshore (without subsidies), the approach can be advantageous, since winds tend to blow harder and more consistently in the ocean.

The Dutch wind farm would be capable of producing 30 gigawatts of power — more than double the amount of offshore wind power installed across Europe today.

Offshore wind farms: globally

The London Array, which can produce 630 megawatts of power over 47 square miles, is currently the largest offshore wind farm in the world. The world's largest onshore wind farm, China's Gansu Wind Farm, could generate over 6,000 megawatts (6 gigawatts) as of 2012 (the most recent data available), and has a goal of 20,000 megawatts (20 gigawatts) by 2020. However, according to a 2017 report from The New York Times, a number of Gansu's turbines are still sitting idle.

Have you read?

The potential for offshore wind energy in the US is massive. If the country were to build turbines in all of its available ocean space, the winds above coastal waters could provide more than 4,000 gigawatts per year. That's more than four times the nation’s current annual generation capacity.

Several American offshore wind projects are underway. North America's first offshore wind farm, called the Block Island Wind Farm, started delivering power to the New England grid in May 2017, and effectively helped shut down a diesel plant that previously provided electricity to Rhode Island. In 2018, Deepwater Wind also plans to install 15 turbines approximately 30 miles east of Montauk, New York.

Loading...
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Energy TransitionNature and Biodiversity
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Low-emissivity glass is revolutionizing building efficiency. Here's how

Görkem Elverici

June 7, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum