Holland gives green light for first subsidy-free wind farms

The Dutch government has awarded Swedish firm Vattenfall two contracts for what will be the world’s first wind farms to be built entirely without public money.

The Dutch government has announced that its call for tender for zero-subsidy offshore wind bids has paid off and that Vattenfall will build two facilities in the North Sea by 2022.

Although the government has taken on certain risks like connecting the wind farms to the country’s power grid, the successful tender means that the farms will sell the electricity they generate on the wholesale market rather than relying on revenue stabilisation schemes.

The farms look to have a bright future as the Dutch authorities have already given some guarantees about the likely volume of power generation that will be required from the facilities.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson praised the government for minimising risks and committing to a carbon floor price.

"This news shows zero-subsidy bids are possible for some developers in some markets not where governments take on a share of the project risk," he said.

EU member states are still in the process of drafting national energy plans that will be crucial to fulfilling the Paris Agreement and calculating post-2020 targets. Negotiators are due to meet on 27 March to discuss the update to the bloc’s renewable energy law and national plans will play a significant role in its implementation.

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