Topsector Energy Studies



The Topsector Energy Studies Program provides grants for all three offshore wind themes: ‘Cost Reduction and Optimisation’ and ‘Integration in the Energy System’ and Offshore Wind and the Environment’. Furthermore, this grant is open to other energy technologies.

Cost Reduction and Optimisation:

  • Despite the recent drop in offshore wind costs, it is still important to continue to focus on cost reduction through innovation, with the goal of further reducing societal costs, and compensating the higher cost of new locations and risks from external factors. In addition, the integration in the energy system (e.g. energy storage) introduces additional costs. Optimisation is necessary to scale-up installation work, operation and maintenance. Innovation focuses on optimisation & acceleration, and also on new technology & materials.
  • Feasibility studies within this theme related to a clear conceptual product or service that contributes to cost reduction and optimisation.
  • Exploratory studies within this theme cover the following topics:
    -  improving offshore safety;
    -  risk reduction in the design, installation, operations and decommissioning of offshore wind farms;
    -  improving the circularity;
    -  optimisation of design by reducing loading or improving foundation or connector techniques;
    -  developing offshore test and demonstration facilities and field labs for the development of concepts, proof-of-concepts and pilot projects.

Integration in the Energy System:

  • Large-scale generation of offshore wind energy means that integration in the energy system is becoming more and more important. Issues such as value-chain alignment, forecasting, balancing, storage and conversion, interconnection, the offshore grid, and ancillary services play an important role. Both technology as well as market models can be the subject of the research projects.
  • Feasibility studies within this theme are related to the development of new components, products, tools and services that facilitate the integration of very large quantities of offshore wind power into the energy system at low societal costs.
  • Exploratory research within this theme covers the following topics:
    -  offshore grid infrastructure for electricity and/ or other energy carriers, including, among other things, artificial islands;
    -  the development of market models and market mechanisms for the effective development of the energy system and integration of offshore wind power by, for example, cooperation between (large) consumers and offshore wind farms.

Offshore Wind and it's Environment:

  • The energy transition depends on a large contribution from offshore wind energy. This affects the ecology and offshore spatial planning, both restrictive as reinforcing. Collaboration with other users, and research into the interaction between the technology and ecology, are subject of research and innovation.
  • Feasibility studies in this theme relate to products, methods or services that can increase the ecological value of offshore wind farms, and to integrated spatial planning.
  • Exploratory studies in this theme relate to the following topics:
    -  effects of offshore wind technology on ecology and space, as well as solutions for mitigation and compensation of these effects;
    -  ecological strengthening of the North Sea within offshore wind farms;
    -  effective cooperation in the North Sea between offshore wind farms and other users.

Please note: There are limitations to the exploratory studies grant regarding the use of so-called de- minimis support per participant.



Target Projects:

Scheme targeted at exploring new technological concepts and their feasibility. 

Tender System:

Partnerships with at least one SME 

Tender Open:

3 April 2018

Tender Closes:

25 September 2018


€ 5,088 million

Maximum Subsidy Size:

€ 50.000 per feasibility study

Please note that in case of conflict, the official information found on the RVO website is authoritative.


Find out more on the website of RVO. (Dutch)