Converting Offshore Wind into Electricity

By Chris Westra on

Electricity from the North Sea;
The Netherlands is in a strong position.

Dutch companies and centres of expertise benefit from the results of the We@Sea R&D program.

Over the past five years, many aspects of harvesting wind energy from the North Sea were studied within the framework of the research program We@Sea. The results contribute to a better position of Dutch companies and R&D establishments involved in offshore wind energy. The book “Converting Offshore Wind into Electricity” the Netherlands’ contribution to offshore wind energy knowledge” summarises these results.


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We@Sea program’s results include:

  • Development for optimising operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms
    System for safe transfer of personnel from a vessel to a wind turbine for a wide range of weather conditions
  • Knowledge about the impact of wind farms on the marine ecology
    The development of very large recyclable blades
    Significant contributions to the offshore wind energy design base (control system, remote system monitoring, flow in wind farms)

Besides, the We@Sea program contributed to strengthening the position of the Dutch industry in the international market. More specifically:

  • the Dutch industry leads the design of dedicated installation and maintenance vessels
  • the Netherlands has a leading position in the development and construction of steel foundations.

Despite the political headwind and without a substantial wind turbine manufacturing industry, the Netherlands has a good position in offshore wind energy. There are approximately 2000 people employed in this sector, which might increase to 12,000 – 20,000 by the year 2020 if the development of offshore continues to grow. A new Dutch R&D programme FLOW (= Far Large Offshore Wind) focusing on technical innovations, was launched recently. FLOW is executed by the industry in cooperation with research establishments such as ECN and TU Delft. Preparations are under way for the construction of a 600MW wind farm in the North Sea (“Typhoon Offshore”), north of the island of Schiermonnikoog and the innovative ENECO wind farm of 130 MW, 23 km from the coast line at Noordwijk. Both wind farms will be operational by 2014.

For further information please contact:
Chris Westra, Managing Director We@Sea, Phone: 06 53 44 86 21
Jos Beurskens, Scientific Director of We@Sea, Phone: 06 53 74 57 56.

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