Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Wisconsin companies can help the European nation expand its capacity for wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy.

In 2017, 6.6% of all energy in the Netherlands was derived from renewable energy sources. The country still has a long way to go to reach the 27% target set forth for all member states in the EU Climate Agreement.

Wind energy has proven to be an increasingly attractive source of renewable energy, as the performance and thus return on investment has increased exponentially over the years, especially for offshore wind farms. With this in mind, the Dutch government has decided to construct three new wind farms in the North Sea, in addition to the four existing ones.

The plan is for the new wind farms to be completed between 2024 and 2030. The tender for the first new wind farm is set for 2021. Currently, only 4.5GW of capacity comes from wind, and the plan is to increase this number to 11.5GW—meaning power derived from wind farms will more than double.

When asked about opportunities for Wisconsin companies, Peter van den Bosch, editor-in-chief of Wind Energy Magazine, replied: “2019 will see all parties—private, public and political—to to work even closer together to ensure that the target of the EU Climate Agreement will be reached in time. Challenges ahead include accelerating innovation, preparing the electricity grid to absorb the influx of green power and ensuring that there are enough qualified people to complete the work. This is definitely not a Dutch job only—we are in need of international expertise.”

For Wisconsin companies, the Netherlands is an attractive country when it comes to the renewable energy market because of several grants the Dutch government offers for innovative and sustainable energy plans. Thanks to increased competitiveness within the wind energy sector, technologies have improved while production costs have decreased—a positive change for the wind energy sector and its entrepreneurs.

Internationalization is also taking place within the sector. Particularly, the big plans for offshore wind power development in the coming years mean there are plenty of opportunities for foreign companies, including those from Wisconsin. Wind Energy Magazine will report on these opportunities in the English version of its magazine and the related news site www.windenergy-magazine.com. Another way to stay abreast is attending the main wind energy events in Europe. One example is the annual WindDays in the Netherlands, held in June 2019, where both national and international visitors can learn more about the opportunities in the Dutch wind energy market, but also learn from the experience of veteran players and innovative companies active on the on- and offshore markets.