Annual Report 2017
Country Reports


Jos Reijnders RVO - Netherlands Enterprise Agency



The potential of ocean energy has been studied since the 80s and recently the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Infrastructure have acknowledged the energy and export potential. Business and other organizations joined forces in a trade association called the EWA (Netherlands Energy from Water Agency).

The Netherlands does not have a national strategy for ocean energy and nor are there specific targets.

The ocean energy strategy is part of the national target of 16% renewables in 2023.

The marine spatial planning is focused on offshore wind, special areas have been appointed for offshore wind (3500 MW). There are no offshore ocean energy projects planned yet.

A spatial analysis of the potential of the North Sea with a view to 2050 has been made, with regard to offshore wind and ocean energy. The North Sea Spatial Agenda indicates a potential of up to 2000 MW of tidal current and wave energy to be possible, if techniques are developed further to fit the Dutch situation, with relatively low tidal heads and speeds.

Although in some cases there is fast flowing water of estuaries, and near barriers there are places with high speeds up to 5 m/sec.

Although there is a central permitting system, in practise consenting requires engagement with a wide range of permitting bodies such as central government, province, municipality, Rijkswaterstaat, local harbour authorities, ministry of defence and the regional water board.

The Netherlands’ Department of Waterways and Public Works (Rijkswaterstaat) supports initiatives to generate energy, but on the other hand is responsible for protecting the Netherlands from flooding from the North Sea. In general, the current projects were supported generously and erected quickly.

For 2018, the generic national subsidy scheme (SDE, stimulating renewable energy) has also been opened for tidal current, wave energy and free flow energy. The maximum subsidy for renewables has been reduced to €0,13/kWh, due to the decreased costs of offshore wind, which is considered as the benchmark.

In addition to the above mentioned feed-in tariff (OPEX subsidy), there are generic funding programmes (CAPEX subsidy) for all relevant types of renewable energy. The Ministry of Economic Affairs initiated a number of grants via generic R&D instruments; these are also available for ocean energy research. These programmes have a tender system in which projects compete with each other, and have a general condition that a cost reduction must be achieved by innovation.