Netherlands scales up renewable energy infrastructure

STORY: From a massive offshore wind farm... a cluster of floating solar panels

The Netherlands has big plans for renewable energy -

and the infrastructure is being built now.

Ten out of the 140 turbines at Hollandse Kust Zuid are already producing electricity.

The 1.5 gigawatt wind farm off the Dutch coast is scheduled for completion in 2023.

Electricity from the farm is converted to a higher voltage before being sent to shore.

Manon van Beek is the CEO of TenneT, the state-owned Dutch grid operator.

“Only here in the Netherlands we're going to connect more than 20 Gigawatts (of wind power) before 2030. And that is equivalent to let's say more or less 20 powerplants or it's the same as the usage of an average household of 20 million households.”

“Oceans of Energy” is another major project in the North Sea:

a one megawatt cluster of floating solar panels.

CEO Allard van Hoeken says the company is not far from being economically viable.

“We're going to double it again in the next few months and then the next project is a three-megawatt project in Belgium and after that, we look for the 50-megawatt connection at sea, preferably with a 150-megawatt potential because if we reach a 150-megawatt size, we get into price competitiveness.”

The Netherlands is also taking its chances with Green Hydrogen.

This is a hydrogen production platform - where electricity will be converted to hydrogen and sent to shore through existing natural gas pipelines.

It's a process that's not very economical - but engineers are betting on a future where electricity will be cheap...

And it may make sense to convert some to hydrogen for steel making - or transportation.