Subsidy-free offshore wind farm will move ahead in the Netherlands

offshore wind turbine
CC BY 2.0 jkbrooks85

That's a pretty stunning milestone for renewable energy.

Earlier this year, we reported on several promising developments pointing to subsidy-free renewable energy. Even more remarkably, one of those projects was an offshore wind farm. Now Business Green reports that The Dutch government is confirming that several bidders have come forward to bid on rights to develop the wind farm, and will receive a permit but zero state subsidies.

This feels like a very big deal. Offshore wind has been shattering cost reduction goals recently, but due to the complications of developing wind energy in harsh offshore conditions, it's still significantly more expensive than onshore wind.

So if subsidy-free wind is now possible offshore, imagine what other technologies are reaching such tipping points. Given the recent political successes of anti-renewables forces in the US, at least, the prospect of subsidy-free renewables is more important than ever. Because once clean energy can compete without government support, it will be significantly harder for the forces of obstruction and predatory delay to throw a spanner in the works.

That said, I would personally argue that we need to keep subsidizing renewables regardless. Given the dire threat that climate change represents, the faster we transition to a zero carbon economy, the better off all of us will be.

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