Annual Report 2014
Country Reports


Haijo Boomsma Ministry of Economic Affairs, The Netherlands

On 10 September 2014, the Netherlands officially became a party to the ‘Implementing Agreement for a Cooperative Programme on Ocean Energy Systems’ (the OES), with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO. nl) as Contracting Party.

In the Netherlands, both the Government and commercial parties have been studying the potential of ocean energy since the 1990s. Businesses and other organizations have joined forces in a trade association called the EWA (Netherlands Energy from Water Agency). Pilots have been carried out in Dutch waters to test various ocean energy technologies.

In the second half of 2014, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment commissioned a study into the export potential of Dutch companies involved in energy from water (short term potential; up until 2023), and the potential contribution that this technology could make to the Netherlands’ energy transition over the long term (from 2035). The results formed the basis for talks on potential follow-up activities between the above mentioned ministries and the sector.


The Netherlands currently does not have a national strategy for ocean energy or concrete targets. A spatial analysis of the potential of the North Sea with a view to 2050 has been made, also with regard to ocean energy. This North Sea 2050 Spatial Agenda was sent to parliament on 28 July 2014 and indicates a potential of up to 2.000 Megawatt of tidal current and wave energy to be possible, if techniques are developed further to fit the Dutch situation, with relatively low current speed. A further study was commissioned by the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Infrastructures and the Environment in 2014 in order to form the foundation for a targeted governmental vision on ocean energy. A separate study is commissioned by the working group on Offshore Wind (TKI Wind op Zee) to investigate the R&D needs of the Dutch tidal and wave energy sector (expected in 2015).

Information about North Sea 2050 Agenda available at:


Although there is a central permitting system, in practice consenting requires engagement with a range of permitting bodies such as central government, province, municipality, Rijkswaterstaat, local harbour authorities, the Ministry of Defence and the regional water board. There are currently no specific aspects relating to ocean energy that are the focus of new or improved legislation or regulations.


There are currently no specific market incentives for ocean energy. The Netherlands promote use of space at sea from a perspective of inviting for developments.


Between 2000 and 2010, the Ministry of Economic Affairs initiated a number of grants via generic R&D instruments. These grants are also available for ocean energy research. In 2014, a generic demonstration scheme (DEI: Demonstrations of Energy Innovations) came into force. This is associated with the ‘Energy Top Sector’, part of the existing national innovation programme. Ocean energy projects may also be eligible for the national grant scheme for the stimulation of sustainable energy production (SDE+), for which the maximum feed-in was set at € 0.15/kWh for 15 years, in 2014. 


Marsdiep – near Texel, operated by Tidal Testing Centre NL