Netherlands to increase focus on North Sea renewables

BlueTEC floating tidal energy platform (Photo: Bluewater)
Illustration/BlueTEC floating tidal energy platform (Photo: Bluewater)

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has produced a report focusing on the future of the North Sea oil and gas industry that is undergoing significant changes as the worldwide transition to low carbon sector gains pace.

The report ‘A Sea Change – the transformation of North Sea oil & gas’ is based on interviews with 37 senior executives in the UK, Holland and Norway working across the oil and gas industry.

It explored the current state of the North Sea basin, offering the insights and views on the state of play in the North Sea, alongside some potential solutions for sustainable success.

The biggest divergence in the approach to exploiting the North Sea resources in the future was identified in the Netherlands, where, according to the report, there was a feeling that the industry was moving more quickly towards decommissioning over the next five to fifteen years due to the fact that low gas prices are now accelerating the demise of the basin.

As a result, the focus is put more on maximising revenues from hydrocarbons to fund renewable energy projects in the basin.

The consensus view was that the next wave of investment in the basin would come from renewable markets such as tidal energy and offshore wind, the report states.

The Netherlands has seen some significant tidal energy developments in 2015 with the installation and grid-connection of two tidal energy arrays, both by Dutch tidal turbines manufacturer Tocardo and its partners – first at Afsluitdijk, Den Oever, and the second, larger array, at the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier.

Also, Tocardo was involved in another tidal energy project, with Bluewater and other partners, which saw the deployment and grid connection of BlueTEC floating tidal energy platform off Texel island.

Furthermore, the figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) show that the consumption of renewable energy in the country went up to 5.8% in 2015. In the previous year, 5.5% of the total energy consumption in the Netherlands came from renewable sources.

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