The Netherlands can generate so much energy on water that the North Sea should be seen as the thirteenth province of the Netherlands. This is the opinion of the TNO research organization.

According to the research organization, wind farms, hydrogen plants, solar panels in the North Sea offer enormous opportunities for the economy and nature.

A milestone

Four wind farms in the Dutch part of the North Sea already provide around a thousand megawatts of electricity. And at the end of March 2020, for the first time in history, more electricity was generated from renewable sources than from fossil sources.

A nice milestone according to TNO, but one with a big comment. If the windmills rotate too fast, the electricity grid cannot handle it.

Wind and hydrogen

Ton de Jong, managing director of TNO Energy Transition, explains: “The energy system of the future is a set of smartly coordinated elements. If the wind blows too hard, or the sun shines too much, we must be able to store that energy. ”

The latter may be possible in the future with hydrogen, which TNO wants to generate in the first hydrogen power plant at sea. This hydrogen plant stands on what was once an oil platform and is the first in the world.

A nursery for marine life

In addition to the first hydrogen power plant, TNO has the scoop of the first seaweed field at sea. The harvest is used to make biofuels.

In addition to being a source of clean energy, the fields can be a breeding ground for marine life. The same applies to the space under floating solar panels, another promising technology TNO is working on.

First contours

By making the North Sea a thirteenth province, the research organization anticipates that nature and the economy will reinforce each other par excellence.

Ton de Jong: "We can already see the first contours of it before us." Curious about these first contours? Then read on on the TNO website and see it for you.