Wind energy on the Dutch part of the North Sea will rapidly grow from around 21 GW shortly after 2030 towards an aspirational goal of 50 GW by 2040. To guide the infrastructure developments needed to connect this capacity, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy will publish an Energy Infrastructure Plan North Sea in the first half of 2024. In a consultancy consortium, Common Futures was responsible for developing the strategic vision for this plan.


The strategic vision focusses on three main topics:

1.     The ratio between offshore production of electricity and hydrogen. The aspirational goal of connecting 50 GW of offshore wind capacity is currently not in sight. To achieve this goal, sufficient ‘option space’ has to be created first, by exploring the possibilities to accelerate electrical connections and for cost-effective offshore electrolysis. 

2.    Offshore hydrogen storage: there is a need for an integral programme for hydrogen storage in salt caverns and gas fields, in which offshore opportunities are studied as well.

3.    Interconnections – both for electricity and hydrogen: further analyses are needed in which economic and non-economic factors are taken into account, with special attention for connections with Norway, the UK, and Denmark.


The final advice will serve as input for the development of the EIPN by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, which will include the planning of the further development of the energy infrastructure beyond 2030 and the connected decision-making on roles, market regulation and legal instruments. Common Futures has worked on this in a consortium with Deloitte, Mott MacDonald, and Norton Rose Fulbright, in consultation with TenneT, Gasunie, EBN and the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and of Infrastructure and Water Management.