We’re on a mission!

Column by Maarten Timmerman, director of BLIX Consultancy

Last year we were discussing our mission as a team. What drives us? And what do we want to achieve? “Accelerate the energy transition by working with enthusiastic and excellent teams” is the key message of our mission. When we formulated this mission I have to admit that I expected our own contribution would be limited. But now, one year later, I can conclude that it’s not too bad.

Several years ago, I was only slightly optimistic about the future of offshore wind. I was worried whether the necessary cost reduction was taking place fast enough and about the possibilities for innovations in the sector. But now I am more optimistic about the future of this sector. Despite the fact that BLIX is a tiny part in the entire process, I feel like we played a major role within the positive development that the sector has been going through in the past years. The success of the Dutch tenders and the fact that we were able to support the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) with setting up the tender system makes me proud. We have supported developers to lower prices in their bids on Borssele 1&2, 3&4 and in the German tender. In the meantime, also the cost of onshore wind is decreasing rapidly. And to make it even better, the German offshore wind projects from 2025 onwards will be realised without any subsidy.

But, we still have a long way to go. The Netherlands aims to realise 16% of renewable energy by 2023. On- and offshore wind energy form a major contribution towards realising this goal. The amount of renewable energy daily added the Dutch energy network, is by far not enough. So, we will have to do our utmost to achieve this goal (and preferably a bit more) by realising more wind farms and solar parks. Furthermore, we will need new electrical infrastructure and storage capacity to make the integration of all this additional energy capacity possible. To make the transport sector more sustainable hydrogen solutions are needed. Offshore oil and gas platforms will be electrified. We are expanding our activities in those directions.

The offshore wind knowledge that is present within the Netherlands is exceedingly exported abroad. Besides the classic offshore wind in shallow waters, there is an abundance of locations with the right wind conditions, but where the sea is deeper and soil conditions are less favourable. For these locations floating wind turbines seem to become a more realistic alternative. I look forward to contribute to these projects together with my team.

I realised that it is fine to dream big. Formulating ambitious missions is not only prescribed to the Blues Brothers, de Nike’s or the Apple’s in this world.