All but one of the eight potential post-2030 offshore wind farm zones in the Netherlands are expected to have a net lower Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE) compared to the IJmuiden Ver Wind Farm Zone, a preliminary study published by the Dutch Government concludes.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, commissioned BLIX Consultancy and partners to conduct the LCoE study into the eight new search areas in the Dutch North Sea, along with IJmuiden Ver (noord), Hollandse Kust (noordwest), and Hollandse Kust (zuidwest) Wind Farm Zones, to determine whether further investigation is warranted. Combined, these post-2030 search areas have the potential for 64.9 GW of new offshore wind capacity.

The study has been referenced to in the Ontwerp Programma Noordzee [Design Program North Sea], a report from the Dutch government which focuses on the frameworks for spatial use of the North Sea in relation to the condition of the marine ecosystem.

In the first stage of the study, indicative offshore wind farm (OWF) layouts within the search sites were used to determine potential LCoE and assess the impact of the main parameters analysed, such as size, shape, and orientation of the wind farms. In the second part, the locations of most of the search areas were amended and the impact of the grid connection system (GCS) was also factored into calculations.

Based on its modelling of potential sites within the new search areas (not including GCS), LCoE is expected to be 4-5.5% lower than for IJmuiden Ver, concludes the report, Determination of the cost levels of wind farms (and their grid connections) in new offshore wind energy search areas. “All wind farm zones in the new search areas are attractive from a cost perspective point of view and qualify for further assessment,” says the study. The average gross yields are substantially higher for the wind farm zones in the northern large new search areas (Zone 5,5 (mb), 6 and 7), it adds, although this is largely offset by higher wake effects, higher foundation costs, and higher turbine installation and maintenance cost.

The report also notes there is a large variation between the sites in these zones. “Selecting only the most attractive sites or allocating the sites in a more effective way (taking the impact of the size, shape and orientation into account) will result in a lower average LCoE for these wind farm zones.”

When factoring in GCS costs for the new areas – which gives a better indication of overall LCoE for projects – Zone 7 is less attractive. Zone 7, which is hoped to have 8 GW of offshore wind capacity and would require a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) connection to the grid (similar to IJmuiden Ver), was found to have a net overall LCoE (OWF + GCS) 2.3% higher than IJmuiden Ver. All other HVDC zones in the new search areas have a lower net overall LCoE, however, whilst the High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) zones Hollandse Kust (noordwest), and Hollandse Kust (zuidwest) have a significantly lower net overall LCoE (-16.1% and -12.7% respectively).

“The choice of export landing area has a significant impact on the GCS LCoE results. Deviating from the current base assumption that the sites will be connected to the closest landing area increases the GCS LCoE of the sites compared to the reference IJmuiden Ver A with +10% to +30%.” the study says.

Project leader Imke Maassen van den Brink from BLIX Consultancy said: “New offshore wind farms are essential to achieve climate neutrality, and this study plays an important role in defining the new wind farm zones for after 2030.”

The study was produced on behalf of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, and The Dutch Directorate General for Public Works and Water Management. The project team consisted of BLIX Consultancy (project leader and cost modelling), Pondera (design of wind farm layouts and yield calculations), Energy Solutions (electrical expertise), and TenneT TSO (grid connection system input validation).


The full report, Determination of the cost levels of wind farms (and their grid connections) in new offshore wind energy search areas, including a breakdown of all calculations and all results, can be found here.

Related studies

Q1 2021, BLIX Consultancy, Pondera and partners published a study about LCoE calculations for new variants of wind farm site boundaries of Hollandse Kust (west). These new LCoE calculations were then compared to the results of the current reference wind farm layout of the Hollandse Kust (west) wind farm zone.

Q1 2021, BLIX and TNO released the study Pathways to potential cost reductions for offshore wind energy. This study, which was commissioned by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and TKI, looked at potential cost reductions in the offshore wind sector until 2030 and after, and concluded that the reduction of the LCoE will continue.

About BLIX Consultancy

BLIX is an independent consultancy company in offshore and onshore wind energy with offices in the Netherlands, Taiwan, and South-Korea. It is our mission to accelerate the energy transition with excellent teams in order to lower the cost of wind energy and optimise revenues. Our consultants have been involved in the offshore wind energy sector since the start of the industry and worked in different phases of wind projects in several countries in Europe, the USA and Asia.

Services of BLIX include interim-management, project, and strategic advice in all phases of wind energy projects: feasibility, development, engineering and contracting, construction, operation and maintenance and decommissioning and repowering.

A few of BLIX projects globally:

  • Northland Power, Yushan Energy, Mitsui | concession tender support & development Hai Long project Taiwan – 1044 MW
  • DOB (NOA), Japan | teach the teacher offshore wind development course
  • Eolfi, France | contract and tender management floating offshore wind – 28.5 MW
  • ADEME, France | market study offshore (floating) wind supply chain
  • NYSERDA, New York, USA | site investigation study offshore wind energy – 180 MW
  • Elia, Belgium | asset management strategy for “Modular Offshore Grid” at sea
  • Storm, Belgium | technical, financial, and contractual support at 14 wind farms
  • Northland Power, Neart na Goithe, Scotland | support concession tender – 524 MW
  • NEA (RVO), The Netherlands | Contract and project management for the collection of site data for offshore wind areas Borssele, Hollandse Kust (Zuid, Noord and West)
  • NERO, Romania | mandated to acquire seed capital and equity, plus support to the wind turbine tender – 1000 MW