To reach the Dutch climate goals for 2030 and 2050, a substantial increase in the production of zero-carbon energy is needed. Onshore renewable power from wind turbines and solar farms is currently making a significant contribution to making Dutch electricity generation more sustainable. However, the rapid rollout of offshore wind farms and rooftop PV systems raises the question of whether additional capacity from onshore wind turbines and solar farms, above the RES target of 35 TWh, is needed to achieve the climate targets or whether the now higher climate target for 2030 and that for 2050 can be achieved without further growth of these energy sources.
The aim of this study is to give an idea of how the 2030 and 2050 targets can be achieved with and without additional onshore wind and solar farms, and to map out the trade-offs between the various energy sources.
The climate targets for 2050 can also be achieved without additional onshore wind and solar power. Offshore wind and rooftop solar (with or without nuclear energy) in combination with load-following hydrogen power plants and the import of hydrogen will suffice, meaning there is scope to make choices between the various energy sources. To meet future energy demand, various combinations of energy sources are conceivable, each with its own social advantages and disadvantages. Since investments in sustainable energy are made for the long-term, it is desirable that the choices be made soon.
For 2030, the determining factor is which technologies can help achieve the targets (of the Dutch government and of the EU) within the remaining time scope of seven years. Given that accelerating the rollout of offshore wind farms even faster in the run-up to 2030 is unrealistic, either other sources will be needed to achieve this target, or the target will need to be revised.