Continued success of Dutch offshore wind innovation needs attention for more innovation in disruptive technologies

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TKI Wind op Zee

This is one of the conclusions of the report 'Offshore renewable energy: threats and opportunities in the post-2030 Netherlands' that  was drawn up by the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University and commissioned by RVO and TKI Wind op Zee. The report investigates lock-in in relation to the diffusion of specific offshore renewable technologies in specific markets and whether the Dutch offshore wind industry can adapt to potential disruptions in the future.  The report is based on the analysis of project databases, industry reports and interviews with Dutch offshore renewable energy stakeholders.

The report shows  interesting conclusions:

Major strengths of the Dutch offshore wind innovation system are the strong market penetration for state-of-the-art offshore wind, backed by an ambitious domestic roadmap, well-funded R&D and networking for sustaining innovation. There is also sufficient well-funded R&D for disruptive innovation at low TRL's and some market/export penetration for emerging disruptive offshore technologies.  

The report also observes a lock-in of both industry and government in the current mainstream of offshore wind technology. The higher TRL support for disruptive offshore renewable energy technologies and the full-scale demonstration support or protected niche space for start-ups could be improved. Another area for improvement is the fact that energy policy for offshore wind in the Netherlands mainly focuses on carbon mitigation, whereas a coherent industrial policy or export strategy are missing.

The report ends with the recommendations to stimulate long term investment in both incremental and disruptive technologies, to encourage disruptive R&D in addition to incremental  innovations and to promote full-scale demonstration of both incremental and disruptive innovations. Furthermore the report recommends accelerating the diffusion of disruptive innovations, invigorating the entire innovation eco-system for offshore renewable energy and developing an industrial policy without compromising the 2050 carbon mitigation targets.

Please, find out more by reading the report